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Joe Speedboot

by Tommy Wieringa

An unusual coming-of-age novel. Wonderful, well-drawn characters, plenty of action including making real aeroplanes, blowing-up buildings and international arm-wrestling competitions all add to the fun of this novel culminating in an unexpected outcome for the wheelchair bound hero. The atmosphere of modern small time Dutch village life is beautifully observed too. A great read.

Extract

'Hello', the boy says again. 'Can't you talk?'

A tanned face with clear eyes. Hair cut in a Prince Valiant fringe. He turns around and looks out the window. Hoving's garden: heads of red clover, stinging nettles and the lovely poppy, so pleased to be seen but so insulted when picked that she withers in your hand.

'They dumped you here, didn't they?' the boy says, his gaze fixed on Lomark. ... He nods.

'I've heard about you. You're a Hermans, from the wrecking yard. They say Mother Mary worked a blessing on you. It doesn't look like it to me, though, if you'll excuse my saying so. I mean, if this is a blessing, what's punishment look like? Right?'
Translated by Sam Garrett

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