BREAKTIME by Aidan Chambers
Kirkus Star


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At first, 17-year-old Ditto's proposal to write up his own forthcoming outing in answer to friend Morgan's ""Charges against Literature"" seems as callow as Morgan's attack--and so does Chambers' use of this facile device. But as the narrative proceeds you come to admire the ease with which Chambers adapts modernist experimental techniques and post-modernist plays on the conventions of fiction to an accessible YA level. The action fairly breezes along as Ditto moves from unavoidable rows with his ailing father to his much-anticipated camping trip with provocative Helen, a reputed ""easy lay"" in her own words. En route to the tryst Ditto, determinedly heedless, becomes involved with two young strangers in a wild escapade that turns out to be part of one boy's senseless defiance of his father. (""I was used,"" rues Ditto, but the third companion assures him that we all use each other for our ends--just as, later, Ditto and Helen set out to do.) Attractively muddled himself, Ditto proves a candid reporter, alert and responsive come-what-may. Even if this doesn't answer Morgan's charges, young teenagers will be delighted by Ditto's attempts to overcome the limitations of the linear medium, amused by his drunken, impressionistic account (complete with talk balloons and other ""concrete"" touches) of the rowdy evening with Robby and Jack, and above all swept along with Ditto's own relish on his thirsty quest for experience.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1979
ISBN: 081097262X
Publisher: Harper & Row