PAUL'S VOLCANO by Beatrice Gormley


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Mt. Doom, a model volcano, provides the catalyst for this contrived story that sends up a lot of smoke but no substance. Adam is drawn to Paul Tanner's impressive science-fair project, a three foot high volcano complete with noises and smoke simulating an actual eruption. He allows Paul to join his club so that the volcano can be used as a ritualistic mascot, but the innocent ceremonial rites become increasingly more omnious as the volcano spirit, Yargh, actually accepts sacrifical Barbie dolls and soccer bails and begins to have threathening powers over the boys. All the ingredients are here for a page-turner, and some touches will strike the right note with today's generation--club memos are produced on Adam's computer, and it's the computer that gives Adam the clue that puts Yargh to rest. Unfortunately, character development is minimal and the dialogue stiff and slow-moving; furthermore, the power of Yargh over the club members and the final resolution are confusing. What's missing here is that delicate ability to take a blend of fantasy and reality and make it believable.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1987
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin