So this morning I reviewed the very funny Don't Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer and now I have the great pleasure of welcoming the author himself to Mel's Random Reviews. As it's the first week of a New Year, I thought I'd ask Michael to write something based on new starts or New Year/New School...
It can be a bit nerve-wracking being a new kid at a new school, right? Well two of the characters in my book Don’t Call Me Ishmael have vastly different experiences when they start off at St Daniels Boys School.
When my narrator Ishmael (bizarrely named by his parents after the narrator of Herman Melville’s classic whaling novel Moby Dick) commences his life at St Daniel’s in Grade 8, it doesn’t go that well.
On his first day Ishmael meets class bully Barry Bagsley. Barry is immediately impressed with Ishmael’s name.
As it turns out, Barry Bagsley is quite the wordsmith and it’s not long before he has very creatively transformed Ishmael’s name into various clever mutations such as Fishtail, Dishrail, Kisstail, Fishstale, Stalefish, Female and Email. There are others but maybe I shouldn’t mention them here.
Not a great start to a new school I think you’ll agree. It’s little wonder that Ishmael feels cursed by his name and blames all his problems on it. He even goes so far as to name a disease in his own honour. As you do.
“I’m fourteen years old and I have Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome. There is no cure.”
According to Ishmael this syndrome is capable of turning an otherwise normal person into “a walking disaster area registering nine point nine on the open ended imbecile scale.” And I guess as the world’s only recorded sufferer, he should know.
But things are about to change drastically for Ishmael.
James Scobie doesn’t act like a new boy. “His small dark eyes looked over the class as if we were all new kids and he was right at home where he’d always been.”
But how come new boy James Scobie isn’t afraid of Barry Bagsley when everyone else is? Well maybe I should let James tell you in his own words:
“Because I’m not afraid of anything.”
It seems that in the past the new boy has had a successful operation to remove a brain tumour but there was an unexpec
ted side-effect. It also removed his ability to feel fear. Could that be true? One thing’s for sure, Barry Bagsley will definitely be putting James ‘No Fear’ Scobie to the test.
It’s a new school year and there’s a new boy at St Daniel’s. For Ishmael Leseur it’s going to be a year like no other.
If he survives it.
|The man himself, Michael Gerard Bauer|
In the meantime I want to give a super-sized and heart felt thanks to Mel and to all the other bloggers for being so generous and for making the new kid feel so very welcome.
Thanks Michael - that was a great tease for the book! And thanks to the generosity of Templar I have one copy of Don't Call Me Ishmael to giveaway. At publishers request it's only open to those with a UK address, I'm afraid. All you need to do is fill in the form below! Open until Midnight 12th January - Good luck!