Wednesday 3 December 2014

"Cosmic" by Frank Cottrell Boyce

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I first discovered Frank Cottrell Boyce through his movie, Millions.  I later went on to read the book which was very good but somehow, for me, failed to live up to the movie.  Framed however blew me away.  When I finish a book I like to rate it out of 5 and this book was definitely *****.  The hilarious story is a family drama set in a small Welsh town, where nothing ever happens.  Until the day the entire contents of the  National Gallery are moved into the local slate mine for safe keeping while London recovers from flooding.  The book is warm and touching and absolutely hilarious, and introduces art to the reader in a fresh and funny way.  I've read it many times, and every time I do, it gets better and better.  Go read it, I say.

So it was with some excitement that I began Cosmic.  And indeed much of what I love about Framed is featured within - a somewhat eccentric main character with a passion for some obscure topic (saints in Millions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Framed, and World of Warcraft in Cosmic), mistaken identity resulting in comic consequences, unashamed references to pop culture, and a warm, touching story which highlights the importance of family.

The main character, Liam, who is unusually tall for his age, is mistaken as a dad and attends an extreme theme park with his pretend child and accidentally ends up in Space!  As I've said, all the things I loved about Framed are in there, but I think that's where I have the problem.  TOO MUCH of Framed is in there!  I really was expecting something fresh and new.  I also found the plot to be totally bonkers - unbelievable, and very far-fetched.  So for me, it's 4 stars.

But I stand by my assertion that Frank Cottrell Boyce is one of the wittiest and most talented writers for children.  And trust me on Framed.  You've got to read it.


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