SEEK by Paul Fleischman
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 & up
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The classic teen quest for identity is recast in an ambitious, challenging, hilarious format. High-school senior Rob, assigned to write an autobiography as a term project, embarks on an aural odyssey that reaches back before his birth and incorporates a multitude of voices. Fleischman (Lost! A Story in String, 2000, etc.) abjures conventional narrative, creating a multilayered play in which Rob’s reading of his autobiography occurs concurrently with both the action it describes and his own delving into the past to research his project. Rob’s quest is this: to find, somehow, the DJ father who abandoned him before his birth, leaving only a tape of a radio call-in program and a sound-effects record. And so, despite a happy—if unconventional—family life with his mother and grandparents, he becomes obsessed with radio, at first simply hoping to find his father over the airwaves and then experimenting with broadcasting himself, in a vain attempt to create some identity with his absent father, and later, to forge his own individuality. Weaving in and out through all of Rob’s various family dramas is a counterpoint of radio voices commenting on and extending the story. The brilliant construction—voices only, with no narrative interference—allows the text to build to extreme emotional crescendos as Rob works through his feelings of abandonment and recovery, and it also allows each character to speak directly to the reader as a distinct individual. A splendid, smart, and savvy addition to YA literature. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8126-4900-1
Page count: 176pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2001


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