I listened to an audiobook recording of this book.
Jim and Will are the best of friends. Jim has always been the more adventurous, more foolhardy of the two, leading Will into scrapes, but when a traveling carnival comes to Green Town, they wind up in a scrape that they cannot resolve alone.
The first thing that struck me about the book was the quality of the prose, which I always note if not actively seek. There are some incredible poetic lines such as:
“Death doesn’t exist. It never did, it never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.”
Incredible! This book is filled with stuff like that. My favorite part is the confrontation between Will’s father and Mr. Dark during the shooting contest. There is a great sense of suspense in that scene.