Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gilbert's Ghost Train by David Metzenthen

This book moves swiftly from the present into the past as Martin Dean explains that his younger brother Dally (Dally) is dead, and then moves on to narrate the series of events preceding his death. The two boys live near the country town of Triggerton and they spend a lot of time hanging out at the old railway station and enjoy the joys of country life, like lighting campfires, riding motorbikes and exploring the old gold mines in the hills. Then Dally's illness gets worse and Martin spends more time outside exploring alone and is having a great deal of trouble coming to terms with the inevitability that his brother is going to die. One day, whilst walking his dog Carl along the tracks of the old station, he meets Gilbert (Gil) a friendship instantly forms. But there are a lot of strange things about Gil, the way he speaks about the past, his clothes, especially the old army slouch hat withe hole in the side. This is an extremely sad book but it helps you get in the mind of a brother and appreciate the complexities of the impending death of a loved one.

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