on March 1, 2015 :
In The Derailment, third in The Rabbit of Usk series, Candler has written an immensely enjoyable book chronicling the adventures of a child forced to make a huge adjustment, transported from a land of lush warmth and barefoot forays to the chill and dreary dampness of England and the strangeness of an English boarding school. Hyenas and tigers are replaced by dogs that lurk behind fences in wait for the passing child and a school with foreign and sometimes confusing customs.
A good deal of credit for this book's attraction should be given to Candler's delightfully wry style of writing and his perspective having himself been transplanted to England from half a world away.
The book is a solidly good read that shares the experience of growing up in English boarding school through the eyes of a young boy named Timotei. The read is enjoyable, never laugh-out-loud funny, but rather filled with wry humor that comes at the reader from the side. This is balanced by the seriousness of life and the sometimes cruelty of children to each other. I found myself impressed at the perseverance -- and progress -- of a young boy making the adjustment of moving from his beloved Africa and being placed in the unwanted and uncomfortable situation of a boarding school. Thrown into the company of boys who "know the ropes," Timotei manages to come out on top through strength of character and the wiles of a child born to be free.
My normal reading fare is literary fiction chosen from ranked lists. I seldom review those or any other books. The fact that I have reviewed this one and the other two in this series should tell you something about how much I enjoyed them. Bottom-line, a good read.
(reviewed 41 days after purchase)