THE NOTHING PLACE by Eleanor Spence


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This is one of those unaccented, slow moving British stories except that it's Australian and it lacks the concentration British writers often substitute for pace. Chiefly it's about twelve year-old Glen, new in Sydney, recently deaf and suffering from all sorts of school and social difficulties until in the end he is willing to acknowledge his handicap. But first we meet Glen's new friend Shane, introduced as he wonders ""what do cricketers cio in winter,"" and at other times we're taken inside the heads of Shane's empty-headed older sister, her short-time boyfriend Graham (who is also Glen's brother), and a girl named Lyndall whose first meeting with her divorced father is mainly a long digression although her scheme to present Glen with a hearing aid is more to the point. Smart but obtuse, Lyndall enlists the other kids in a Captain Cook bicentennary museum project to raise money for the device, thus working in a bit of local color and a good deal of procedural detail as well as the only plot or tension there is (to wit: will Glen accept the charity?). It's not really a ""nothing"" story, just long-winded -- and based on that unlikely silence.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1973
Publisher: Harper & Row