Friday, May 29, 2009

The Unnameables


The Unnameables
by Ellen Booraem
316 pages
age 10+
Medford Runyuin has a name that doesn't mean anything, at least not anything "useful". He washed up on Island's beach as an infant and was taken in by Boyce Carver. He is trained to follow in his foster father's footsteps as a carver. Medford has a secret that he can't tell anyone. His secret is Unnameable and could get him banished if anyone were to find out. As if coping with his secret isn't enough, a stranger shows up on his doorstep causing even more chaos. The residents of Island have a lot to think about in resolving these issues.
I was intrigued by the idea of this story. Island was started by a group of people who separated themselves from mainstream society during the 1700's (I think, no clear dates were ever given). They believe that everything should be "useful" and have a clear "purpose". People and things should be named for their purpose. Anything that is Unnameable is dangerous and wrong. I felt that there were some inconsistencies in the story as far as using "useful" things and names. I found the Goatman rather annoying, yet I understood the purpose of the character. I loved the idea of this book more than I loved the actual book. I am glad I read it and would recommend it to others who are interested in fictional futures and dystopian societies.

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