Sunday, July 01, 2007
Books- Book Review - Two Pound Tram by William Newton
I bought this lovely book at Oxfam Shopping.
(I don't like the search function these days; this has changed since I went to England on vacation in April. If you don't know the postal codes of the city you are searching, you won't get a good match. I went to this store: Oxfam Bookshop,12 Bloomsbury Street,London, WC1B 3QA,020 7 6374610.
The think that I liked about this bookstore, besides the great selection of current books, was that each patron is asked to fill out a card with comments about their favorite book. When the book comes in, the card and the book are displayed on the window. What a nice way to personalize a store!)
The novel is about two upper-class boys who totally neglected by their selfish parents. (Trophy children). They get along well with each other. When the mom leaves, and the dad starts paying more attention to his lovers than the boys, they decide to run away to London.
Their dream is to buy a tram (streetcar/trolley car) that they saw in the newspaper for 2 pounds. They have enough money to do and also buy a horse to pull the tram. A dog who loves the horse is thrown in the deal also. The tram person is very honest and gives them sound advice.
The boys have many adventures with their tram. In Cambridge, people mistake it for public transportation and pay fares. They camp out in the night in fields and live peacefully until the bombings start in WWII.
Then, they contribute in ingenious ways to civil defense activities.
At the end of the novel, you are wondering, "Could this have happened?" I know that it couldn't have happened in this day and age. First of all, if children are missing or seen loitering, they would be reported to authorities. I am not sure that anyone could just camp out like the Scrutton boys did. Plus, the horse drawn tram would have been citied for various offenses: mistreatment of animals, no license, etc. etc.
But, it was a fun read.
The reviews say that young people can read it also, and I tend to agree. But, so can adults.