Friday, November 09, 2007

I am David

by Anne Holm, translated by L. W. Kingsland

David is a 12 year old boy who has essentially grown up in a concentration camp in some unnamed Communist country. One of the guards--David only refers to him as "the man"--arranges for the boy to escape, and mysteriously gives him instructions to go to the port of Salonika, stow away on a ship to Italy and then make his way north to Denmark. David follows the man's instructions, fully expecting to be shot in the back at any moment, and so begins one of the odder travelogues I've read. While David is quite ignorant about life in Italy, he has far too much experience with human life in prison. It makes for some expected mistakes, but also for an interesting view of life in the "free world". On the surface, the concept of a 12-year-old making a journey from some Balkan country to Denmark seems unrealistic, but Ms. Holm had me so caught up in seeing the world through David's eyes, I didn't worry too much about the plot. The story weakens a bit in the end, but overall it's a tale worth checking out.
LibraryThing link


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