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perThe Survival Game - Tim Wynne Jones
**How The Story Begins**
Burl Crow lives with his father Cal and mother in Canada. Cal is a brutal bully with Burl as his prime prey. Burl desperately wants to be liked by his father, but knows it will never happen.
Cal likes to fish and is often seen down at the river doing just that, with Burl watching secretly, hiding so that his father can not see him. It was Cal's secret place and he would tease Burl often enough about not being man enough to know where it was, so Burl followed him. Soon it becomes evident that Cal fishes for women down at this secret spot and when Burl sees this he is outrages that Cal is cheating on his mother. Things get out of hand at the scene and to avoid a severe beating Burl disappears into the wilderness, spending his night sleeping in an old leaking damp outbuilding with nothing to eat but a tin of very out of date food. As he keeps trekking to escape his father he discovers a lake, Ghost Lake and a rather strange man who lives inside a house set on the lake who takes Burl in.
The story continues to follow Burl on his escape, alongside his father on a mission to find him. How will it all work out in the end?
**How I Feel About This Novel**
This is without a doubt one the strangest books I have ever read. I picked it up in a charity shop after being taken in by the blurb. It's more of an adventure story than the thriller I expected and wanted. It's also all a bit boy scout-ish and seems as though the author is acclaimed for being shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Book Prize for his previous novel The Boy in the Burning House, I would say that this book is definitely aimed more at older children, perhaps teenagers.
There is a lot in here about the emotional struggle between father and son but is also clouded with a lot of secrecy. As you learn more about each character, the stranger they become, particularly the man in the lakeside house.
This is not a novel for me, I would not recommend it particularly, only perhaps to teenagers and I will not be reading The Boy in the Burning House or any other novels by Tim Wynne Jones. All very strange!