A Killing Frost Essay Research Paper John

A Killing Frost Essay, Research Paper John Marsden’s A Killing Frost passes all three of my tests (and please forgive my purposefully hazy focus on “good writing”, but I must have some

A Killing Frost Essay, Research Paper

John Marsden’s A Killing Frost passes all three of

my tests (and please forgive my purposefully hazy

focus on “good writing”, but I must have some

quirks as a book reviewer!).

Sensory detail pervades this novel of war, told from

the point of view of a teenager who, with her

friends, becomes a partisan against an intractable

enemy that has invaded her homeland. The

homeland in question is Australia, and we are

treated to a gorgeous anthology of landscapes and

how they affect the characters, from the deep

Outback to farmlands, to shorelands to paddocks, to

hills. The Australian terrain is a character all in itself:

sometimes an enemy, as the characters struggle

through the bush, but also a friend that hides the

troop of heroes from numerous enemy patrols.

Throughout the book, I could see the characters’

breaths in the frosty morning, feel the chill of the

autumn wind, hear the terrifying sound of an

approaching enemy helicopter, and feel the

exhaustion of someone struggling in choppy water.

By “honest portrayal of human activity”, I mean

writing about a niche group of humans so

convincingly that a reader or audience member

comes away with the feeling that they have shared

an insider’s look into the lives of a group of people.

Think about Saving Private Ryan: many thousands

of us who were never there now know a little bit of

what it was like to land at Omaha Beach on D-Day,

to experience the pain, fear, confusion, and panic of

war.

And Mr. Marsden has done something like this.

Over and over again, I found myself reacting

physiologically when the characters dodged patrols,

planned attacks, and tried to survive. I felt sorry for

them when they were captured, felt thrilled at their

successes. This is hard to do — and I appreciate it

fully.

And the “good writin’?” Well, Mr. Marsden paints

great characters: Ellie, the inwardly frightened but

outwardly heroic female narrator; Kevin, the

burnt-out former POW; Robyn, the surprisingly

hardy quiet one; Fi, the beautiful and surprisingly

equally resilient city girl; Homer, the ever-ready

planner; and Lee, the depressive and jumpy rover,

always on the go.

This book doesn’t just contain well-written

characters that you care about, but also situations

and storylines that grab you and don’t let go. One of

the best-written episodes, in which the teenage

characters manage to greatly hinder an enemy-held

harbor, kept me glued to the book for three solid

hours. I hardly noticed that I had ingested over a

100 pages of fiction — I was that engrossed.