Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.
"Jusin went back to school. Rumours as to the reason for his absence had spread and despite - or perhaps because of - their vagueness, attracted new interest. One or two classmates swore they'd seen him in a photograph of hte Luton air crash, but the newspaper pictures were small and badly printed, and it was impossible to be sure. A few teachers eyed him nervously and he wondered what excuse his parents had come up with. Mental incompetence would at least have the benefit of being accurate."
The novel charts the musings and meanderings of the eponymous Justin Case’s life - the assumed name of David Case, following an epiphany on the fragility and capricious nature of life and the influence fate is able to play upon the future. Accompanying the assumed name of Justin Case, he also exerts a wholesale change of appearance and outlook. Readers are given insight into the imaginative, eccentric and sometimes worrying life of Justin who is an immensely agreeable though, at points frighteningly sensitive individual. His fears, feelings and fatalistic outlook on life increasingly serve to isolate him from the society that spirals around him.
Justin’s personality and lifestyle is one of extremes and hyperbole. The love he harbours for Agnes, who is intoxicated by his verve for life, fast becomes all-consuming. The gradual erosion of logic, reason and rationale could easily become dirge-like or dull, but the prose here sparkles and shines, reflecting and refracting different philosophies, perspectives and possibilities for life.