The Selected Works of TS Spivet, by Reif Larsen
Sunday 05 December 2010
The Selected Works of TS Spivet is a joy; a colourful feast of a book. There have, perhaps, been better novels published this year (the narrative loses a little of its momentum towards the end), but few as bold or refreshing as Reif Larsen's debut.
The titular protagonist is a 12-year-old genius who spends his time making detailed scientific sketches of his surroundings on a Montana ranch. He sends them to the Smithsonian Institute, which promptly honours him with an award for the popular advancement of science. He sneaks away from home, hops on a freight train and heads to Washington DC to collect the prize.
The account of his adventure is engrossing and full of allusions to classic American literature. Larsen is an adept illustrator, and even when you have finished the story, you'll find yourself returning to peruse his pencil drawings of birds and bats and beetles. There's a lovely hand-crafted quality to the book, and even in paperback form it is a beautiful object.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
- 5 Watch Richard Dawkins read his own hatemail: 'I hope you do get sodomised by satanic monkeys in hell'
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after Wembley Stadium rant
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Emma Watson to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now