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Clay (2006)

Clay (2006)
3.36 of 5 Votes: 1
038573171X (ISBN13: 9780385731713)
delacorte books for young readers
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Clay (2006)
Clay (2006)

About book: The experience of reading Clay is like being in a dream. There are recognisable objects and familiar places, but everything is twisted round, suffused with the strange, the extraordinary, the downright miraculous.David Almond is an award winning author and one of the finest writing for young adults today. Clay is recommended for children over 11, but it’s a novel that may be read and enjoyed (and marvelled at) as much by adults.Davie and his best friend Geordie are just ordinary kids: altar boys, mediocre students, part of a gang full of mischief and rivalry. When Stephan Rose arrives, sent to live with his crazy Aunt Mary, because his father has died and his mother has gone mad, Father O’Mahoney asks that the boys befriend him. They resist, but Davie soon finds himself drawn to the strange new boy, fascinated as much with Stephan’s ability to create fantastic figures from clay as he is with Stephan’s taunting of Mouldy, the bully who’s vowed to ‘get’ Davie. Stephan has a gift, a real genius, for shaping figures that seem to live and breathe. He recognises something in Davie—some innocence, some goodness—that he can use, and begins to draw him into his plan. Together the boys create a monster from mud, a creature that not only lives but walks and obeys. Then something awful happens to Mouldy, and Davie must take action.Almond captures all the energy and awkwardness of youth. A first kiss, sneaking cigarettes, goofing around in class, growing away from a best friend—all these scenes are woven into the darker story of Stephan and Davie’s creation. Underneath it all is a childlike egoism that makes these boys feel responsible for the bad things that happen: If we wish it and it happens, then it must have happened because of us.In the tradition of Frankenstein, and more recently, Peter Carey’s My Life as a Fake, Clay is a novel about artistic creation. It’s also a comment on the potentially dangerous nature of what we create. What we make just might take on a life of its own, a life we can’t always control. As a teacher tells Davie, “Our passion to create goes hand and hand with our passion to destroy”. For Almond, artistic creation dwells in the territory of danger and madness, at the border of evil.Davie hears the words of the monster in his head, which gives us another way of reading the story. The psychological runs alongside and blends with the supernatural. Davie writes it all down, every last crazy thing. He challenges the reader to think it’s just a story. A dream, maybe, that lingers when you wake. Maybe. Then again, maybe not.Clay offers no tidy answers and no redemption. The creative genius is loose; the will to shape and mould and breathe life into raw material is out there—and in us!—for good or for evil. This is a beautiful, enigmatic novel that questions and provokes, inspires and warns. Almond writes of this dark subject in spare, unadorned language flecked with sudden bursts of gorgeousness. Haunting in its intensity, Clay is destined to become a classic.

Cal NesvigBook Review: Clay – By David AlmondDavid Almond’s book Clay, tells an unusual story about a quiet, young boy named Davie, who was forced to reach beyond his comfort zone. Davie and his best friend Geordie are forced to befriend a strange new kid in town named Stephen; as requested by Father O’Mahoney. The two boys are already mischeveous enough—drinking wine from the local church and getting into fights, but Stephen takes this a step further. The two boys discover that Stephen has a supernatural power and can bring sculptures to life. He uses these sculptures and this power for pure evil. Davie becomes obsessed with power, and uses it for his own personal benefit. Clearly, this shows how Davie transitions from being a quiet, young boy, into a wicked, evil person. Power and responsibility are two big traits that should not be bestowed on such young children. Personally, I thought Clay was an interesting story with a new concept I had not yet found in any book’s plotline. It was extremely suspenseful and kept my attention, eading the whole way through.Davie transitions from a quiet boy to a ruthless killer, fueled by greed and responsibility that he should not possess. Stephen and his abnormal talent to control sculptures are catalysts for Davie’s transition. During the story, we find that Davie’s childhood was not going to well. Stephen was thought to be crazy, even by Davie and Gordie. “Stephen came back, wiping his knife blade on a handful of grass. We were trembling. We were speechless. We started back away.” (p.48) There is a certain subtlty about Davie that makes the reader think that he wants to leave it all behind at some point and have a normal life, but can’t seem to bring himself to this level. The reader will also find Davie extremely religious. “I trembled. I crossed myself. I clouded my eyes.” says Davie, “I prayed, Deliver us from evil, Look after us.” (p.51) He looks to God for help in times of need, but never seems to find what he is looking for. Perhaps this is because Davie doesn’t know what he needs or is looking for when summoning Divine assistance.In conclusion, the book Clay was a fantastic story and a good read for people of all ages. It possessed appropriate word choices and grammar usage, as well as told a story with a concept not likely found in many books or movies today. In the book, Davie is rejected by many persons, and feeling this rejection wholeheartedly, he goes from being a speechless young boy to an evil criminal. This transition was well presented and quite believable to the reader. Gordie becomes scared and seems to deviate from the friendship with Davie as time progresses. The plotline was filled with suspense building excitement. The character development was outstanding as well organized. As a reader, you learn to care about Davie and Gordie and their safety while intently turning page after page to uncover a story like no other.
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Holly for"I am here master, command me." Thirteen-year-old Davie and his best friend, Geordie, have a wild time when Stephen Rose moves into Crazy Mary's house; she's the craziest woman they know. When the church paster informs Davie that he is expected to be friends with this new, weird kid, he is in shock. When Stephen shows Davie how they both have powers to make things come to life, Davie's life starts falling apart. He and Geordie are not friends anymore, he's stealing from his church, the girl he loves thinks he's crazy, and he and Stephen Rose are making a life-size monster--and it makes absolutely no sense at all. When this brilliant idea of bringing something to life turns into a total meltdown and starts to kill someone, Davie has no choice but the obvious. What will he do, or what can he do? This is a great book that I think explores the unknown imagination. It is a well-written story that has exciting detail in each chapter.
Noah Seward
Have you ever thought about creating life? In Clay, written by David Almond they do! In the book Clay on boy, named Davie, has his life changed when Stephen Rose comes to town. The strange thing about Stephen is that he has a special power or gift. It will take Davie and Stephen though, to pull off their biggest trick. Some good strengths that this book has are that it has a plot twist that gets you excited.It also has a very good climax to it. I did not find a lot of weaknesses but one that stood out was that it used bad language, as in swear words. It also talked a lot about religion. If I were to recommend this book to someone, I'd give it to someone who likes a little scare. Or someone that likes a good plot twist. I would also advise younger readers to maybe not read it because of the occasional swear word.
Nathan R.
Have you ever imagined creating something out of clay and then making it come to life?Well in this action packed sci fi book we learn you in fact can but what would you do with such power? Murder, theft, what you can do is almost infinite. Davie and his best mate Geordie are altar boys always up for a bit of trouble. These two youngsters like smoking, drinking stolen altar wine, fighting with the neighborhood toughs. Avoiding Mouldy, who's a bigger tough than they can handle.Then the new kid Stephen Rose comes to town. Stephen has come to live with his aunt crazy Mary after his father died and his mother went insane and was put into jail. The priest asks Davie to be friends with him. Stephen has a talent with molding clay. But more than that, he has a talent that he believes Davie shares: to bring his creations to life. Together they create a giant clay monster, and bring it to life to protect themselves from, but Stephen's intentions go far beyond the thought of protection. Anyone with the mind to adventure terrible, unexpected, and horrific books should definitely consider reading this book. I like how the author put in some unexpected twists and some romance here and there. In this book they use the words “mate” and “aye” a lot, its a little irritating but after awhile you get used to it. In conclusion this book was a well put together book and I would rate it 4 stars out of five. The book clay does have many unexpected outcomes but it certainly makes you want to read more to find out what happened.
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