Kaspian Lost Hardcover – Jun 1 1999
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Fifteen-year-old Kaspian Aaby walks out of a repressive summer camp for troubled teens and into the Maine woods. He awakens the next morning to find that four days have passed and he is 60 miles from where he should be. It was no dream, his strange nocturnal experience of mysterious beings that may be malevolent fairies or aliens, an angel, and the ghost of his dead father. Frightened, Kaspian's born-again stepmother exiles him to an authoritarian private school in Virginia, where obsessed alien-abduction investigators, extremist educational theorists, and paranoid politicians seek to use him for their own purposes. But Kaspian has allies and abilities that even he has not guessed at.
Richard Grant is the acclaimed author of Through the Heart (which received the Philip K. Dick Award), Tex and Molly in the Afterlife, and In the Land of Winter (in which Kaspian plays a small but crucial role). --Cynthia Ward
From Publishers Weekly
Grant's (In the Land of Winter) acute ear for adolescent angst and a plot a step or two left of reality lift this coming-of-age tale a few inches out of the pimply preoccupations and surging hormones that dominate the genre. Stuck in an Accelerated Skills Acquisition Camp by his ferociously fundamentalist stepmother, Kaspian saunters one night into an Otherworld beneath a hill, where three wicked leprechauns lead him to an angelic libido-rocking girl in white. Waking four days later about 60 miles from camp, Kaspian spends the rest of the novel trying to preserve the memory of his supernatural excursion and piece together his personality despite being shanghaied to sinister Mr. Winot's franchised American Youth Academy in Virginia, near Washington. Kaspian hides his mysterious experience from all the adults who try to strip it from himApredatory psychiatrist Thera Boot, militant UFO expert Weeb Eugley, a well-meaning gay Episcopal seminarian, even an artist who specializes in comic strips starring photosynthetic bacteria. Grant scores some zingers on practically all of the phony strategies adults singly and collectively use to mold imaginative rebellious teenagers into prosaic clones of themselves, but his attempt to integrate all the theories about encounters with the Unknown bog down into a foggy, soggy Father-Knows-Best routine. Zippy language just isn't enough to carry Kaspian and his readers satisfyingly home from old Virginny. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Four days later, Kaspian reappears at the camp. He refuses to tell anyone where he has been as he desperately holds on to the memory of the alternate universe he visited. Adults believe Kaspian is rebelling and needs special attention. As he goes to the school that expects to change his behavior, Kaspian searches for himself even as he knows there are strange places to hide from the adults trying to destroy his essence.
KASPIAN LOST is a schizoid novel. When the novel concentrates on the duel between the lead protagonist and the adults know best crowd, the story is entertainingly brilliant. When the plot concentrates on otherworldly phenomena it loses direction. The two prime plots never fully merge, leaving readers wondering what happened. Kaspian is a tremendous character filled with teen angst and raging hormones. Richard Grant is a very talented writer whose tale is intriguing but tries to do too much.
But I agree with her general assessment of "Kaspian Lost" -- a lot of ends remain loose. I don't want to give away plot, but many interesting subplots and conflicts remain unresolved. Hollywood ending? No, but an easy ending, that comes WAY TOO SOON, in my opinion.