Humphrey Paxton, the son of one of Britain's leading atomic boffins, has taken to carrying a shotgun to "shoot plotters and blackmailers and spies". His new tutor, the plodding Mr Thewless, suggests that Humphrey might be overdoing it somewhat. But when a man is found shot dead at a cinema, Mr Thewless is plunged into a nightmare world of lies, kidnapping, and murder - and grave matters of national security.
What did you like most about A Journeying Boy?
Tremendous story, ingenious and gripping, with genuine suspense and moments of truly surreal black comedy. I have discovered since listening to this book that crime writers in both the US and the UK voted it as one of the 100 best crime novels of all time, an accolade it definitely deserves. Follow the blameless and ultra-rational Mr Thewless as he tries to make sense of his eccentric 15 year old pupil, and gets caught up in all sorts of scrapes. The writing style is very much of its time, but if you like John Buchan you will probably like this.
What was one of the most memorable moments of A Journeying Boy?
There are quite a few, but I loved the nightmare journey on the light railway.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Alas, no. This book is written in the high ironic style popular in the mid-20th century and the narrator really didn't catch it at all. He made a reasonable job of it but no more than that. In the first few chapters he sounds at times as if he doesn't understand what he's reading, but I was glad I stuck with it.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
It's not a book that aims to tug your heartstrings, so not really.
Any additional comments?
It would be nice if someone from Audible sorted out the bad spelling mistake/typo on the cover artwork, which may be putting readers off. It is also "the" journeying boy, not "a". But this is a neglected gem.
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