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Book review: Outside permission

Outside permission
Eleanor Nilsson
Viking, Ringwood, 1996

This was an unusual book to say the least.

To be honest, I read 40 or so pages and left it alone for a few months before starting again and finishing the book. The second time was easier as I had a clue to what was happening.

Outside permission is about David, his sister and their mate, Simon. They live n Adelaide, but not exactly the Adelaide we know as some power has taken over. This unknown (well unknown for the readers, the characters seem to accept the situation) power maintains records of everyone’s live – including the date of death.

David and Simon often dare each other to do things, but lately Simon has been acting differently and sets a much harder dare with unseen consequences. The final consequences surprised David and me as a reader, although some of that was surprise on my part was disbelief in the method of the ending.

I found some of the inconsistencies to be distracting in an already complex story. For example, they boys went to school (not yet in the senior class), could drive and went to fancy restaurants without parents. It made it hard to decide how old they were – perhaps not a critical detail but distracting none-the-less.

certainly not a book for children or early teens – the language, violence and adult-scenes are not an issue, but understanding the issues (as they are implied not written) and implications requires a certain amount of sophistication.

I can see that some people would enjoy this book, and the suspense is interesting, but I doubt I’ll be bothering with it again.

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