Thursday 4 September 2008

A Titanic Among Young Men (and Women)

My reading pile has gotten ridiculous. At this point, 43 books remain unread. And the thing is, I’ll not be able to justify buying anything else until I’ve reduced the mountain to a molehill. So I’m on a self-imposed crusade to read a book a week.

So far so good. This week, I’ve read Hidden River by Adrian McKinty. Last week it was Colin Bateman’s Titanic 2020. A review of Hidden River will follow in a day or two, when I’ve digested the final chapters a little, but what of Titanic 2020? It’s written by Colin Bateman, so it probably deserves some publicity here. But it’s young adult fiction, and not crime at all. It’s almost science fiction, but there’s very little science. Post-Troubles fiction? Well, there’s no reference to the Troubles, though the main character, young Jimmy, is a Belfast born scallywag. Maybe post-apocalyptic fiction is closer to the mark? Yeah, a little; that’s the backdrop but not the defining theme, if you ask me. It’s an adventure story, with a few scoops of Bateman’s excellent wit, less some of his more colourful language.

Whatever the label, Titanic 2020 is a great book.

So, it’s not quite getting the full CSNI Wee Review treatment, but I will take the time to recommend it. If you’ve a young ’un, say 12-ish or older, buy this for them, read it yourself and badger them into reading it too. It’s a fun, easily-read smart Alec of a book, and an award winner too! I wish there’d been books like this and Skulduggery Pleasant when I was a kid.


adrian mckinty said...

I was fortunate enough to get this book for nothing so the least I can do is say how great it was. All the usual Bateman fun and games and a wee message without being preachy. He may be on book #457 but Mr Bateman respects his readers and gives this one his all. I read it to my six year old daughter and she loved it, except when I tried to accents, but surely Mr Bateman cant be blamed for that.

colman said...

My son read this last week and was impressed.....if I had time I'd pick it up myself but I've too many other things on the TBR pile

adrian mckinty said...


You dont know which of Bateman's books are agailable as audio versions? The YA's would be perfect for the kids.

Gerard Brennan said...

Adrian - As far as I know, I Predict a Riot and the Murphy books are on audio, but the YA stuff isn't as yet. Might be something his publisher should look into, though.

So, has Bateman got the Lighthouse books to read to his son?


adrian mckinty said...


If reports are to be believed Bateman's offspring are WAY too sophisticated for those. His first born is no doubt hacking the Pentagon's computers or some such.