comparisons with Lolita are too overwhelming ...
4:00AM Sunday Jul 05, 2009
By Nicky Pellegrino
THE ICE AGE
By Kirsten Reed
The comparisons with Lolita are too overwhelming not to mention at the start.
In The Ice Age an older man and an underage girl drive the highways of America, eating in bad diners, sharing the same bed in sleazy motels, taking drugs together. But Kirsten Reed's road trip novel differs from the Nabokov classic in crucial and obvious ways.
For a start, it is told entirely from the teenage girl's point of view. She is obsessed with the older man, Gunther, with the graceful, practised way he rolls a joint, with the things he says and the mystery of him. For her he's a safe place in a big, confusing world. Together they travel the country, dropping in from time to time on his eclectic and eccentric bunch of friends.
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The age-gap relationship is handled in such a way that it never seems creepy and the teenage girl's voice is more than credible. Still, if I had a young daughter I'm not entirely sure I'd encourage her to read this ...
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