HELP ME, JACQUES COUSTEAU by Gil Adamson

HELP ME, JACQUES COUSTEAU

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A fine prose stylist shows her chops in this reissue—and first U.S. publication—of her 1995 debut. In 13 tenuously connected episodes, introspective Hazel creates largely amusing character portraits of her parents, her younger brother Andrew, her grandparents and selected neighbors over a period that spans her own childhood and adolescence. Though developing into a moody teen who takes far less interest in studies or friends than in spying on neighbors, chronicling challenged marriages and (latterly) seducing men, Hazel is surrounded by quirky, appealing people, and the vignettes are lightened by wonderful turns of phrase. School “looms like a permanent seat at the dentist’s.” “Nothing can stroll quite like a horse.” Visiting cousins pour out of their car “like fish from a bucket.” So disguised and understated is Adamson’s brand of humor, however, that it will take readers who are particularly sensitive to nuances of tone and language to appreciate it fully. Buy it for teens and adults who match that description. (Fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88784-799-8
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: House of Anansi Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010