LIFE IN THE DESERT by Tres Seymour

LIFE IN THE DESERT

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Intrigued by an aloof, abstracted classmate, Rebecca passes him a note inquiring, ``Anybody home?'' Her persistence is rewarded with tentative friendship and the gradual unveiling of the painful inner life of ``O.Z.'' Gifted and privileged, O.Z. can't bear his parents' relentless focus on his achievements, their plans for his future, or their thoughtless condescension to his nice older brother Reuben (an engineering student at UNC), whom he surpasses at every turn. As Reuben explains, ``He spends his energy satisfying their pride, and it...seems to empty him.'' What's left is a desert: not void of imagination--O.Z. builds elaborate sand castles near the family's beach house, ponders Lawrence of Arabia, and keeps a notebook featuring ``Ozymandias, King of Kings'' (``Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!'')- -but desolate. He's just beginning to treasure his relationship with Rebecca when his precarious hold on any raison d`àtre is destroyed when a rival for her attention desecrates his precious notebook. Less a novel than a perceptive character study that makes the suicidal depression of a youth who seems to have everything painfully believable: Seymour's beautifully written first book will speak eloquently to the concerns of many young people. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-531-05458-6
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1992




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