Top critical review
What happened to "The Riders"?
on March 19, 2001
Did I miss the point or did anyone notice that the major thread running throughout this book is child abuse. Suffice it to say that it wasn't intentional but when Scully's daughter shows up alone at Shannon airport traumatized and speechless, unable to explain the whereabouts of her mother, he begins the trek of a lifetime to find her. The book goes on and on as he drags Billie from country to country and bar to bar unable to face the truth, that his wife has left him.
Seven-year-old Billie, is mauled by a dog, her face becomes infected and scared due to improper care. Scully brings her to squalid bars while he gets drunk day after day where she listens to disgusting language. In Amsterdam she is left to her own demise, as her father gets drunk to drown his sorrow. Somewhere around this point Scully is hit over the head and carted off to jail on Christmas Day.
I stuck with this book because the author actually made Scully out to be a devoted dad and a likable character, the beginning of the book was exceptional and I was curious about the ending. It's just too bad he didn't follow through. I do wish there was more tie in to "The Riders", a ghostly group, mysteriously introduced in the beginning but that was also anticlimactic, and given no more than a few pages.
The time came when I felt like enough is enough it's time to take it like a man Scully, and take care of your child. I got to the point where I didn't even care what happened to his wife Jennifer. I find it hard to believe this book was up for the Booker prize. I found it easy to skip whole paragraphs in the middle as Scully's paranoia ran rampart and repetitive. I kept thinking am I missing the point here but every time I doubted my reading savvy I was put off by the underlying child abuse. Kelsana 3/19/01