STANLEY'S AQUARIUM by Barry Faville

STANLEY'S AQUARIUM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Robyn's life in her small New Zealand town seems idyllic: Her relationship with Duncan is growing steadily warmer, while her lawn-mowing job brings her into contact with old Stanley Swinton, whose secretiveness, jungle-like yard, and locked, windowless aquarium add an exotic element. Then Duncan dies in a car crash, and, shortly thereafter, Stanley's obsession with his fish takes on a sinister cast: Robyn learns that they are piranha that are being carefully adapted to cold water. After Stanley tries to molest the grieving Robin (as, she learns, he did with his own daughter), he's forced to move away--but not before he seeds the local lake with some of his vicious pets. Readers' reactions to this thoughtful story are sure to be complex. Robyn is a sharply observant teen-ager; Favile gives her plenty to see here in Stanley and in the other characters--tangles of love, need, hope, and disappointment. Her narrative opens with a confession: she's not sure whether her story is sad or funny. Thanks to Faville's skillful storytelling, it's both.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1990
ISBN: 19-558197-0
Page count: 152pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2000




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