Reading Journal Entry: Next Door Lived a Girl, by Stefan Kiesbye

Stefan Kiesbye is German, and this is a very German book. It's littered with German names (the narrator is Moritz, and his friends are similarly Teutonic), and the sentence structure at times has been left with a delicious hint of strangeness.

This is a disturbing and scary novel. It's more a novella, really, but it certainly didn't need to be any longer to do what it needed to do, which is scare me to pieces and turn my stomach at the same time.

Moritz is at that 'difficult' age of adolescence. He is fourteen, hovering between a longing for female companionship and loyalty to his old tribe of friends - the 'Badgers'. Moritz lives in a small middle-class town. He's a very transparent narrator, so much so that he seems childlike in the straightforward way he talks about the people around him and the things he goes through.

I don't mean to imply that this is a horror novel. It's not deliberately, provocatively frightening, it doesn't go out of its way to be scary. It's just that the deliberate downward descent into brutality from the daylight normalness of a small town is irresistable. Do any of my neighbours have lives like this, I wonder?

Lord of the Flies,set in suburbia, and about everybody instead of small boys.

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