The Road of Bones

The Road of Bones
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 22, 2006
ISBN
0198328621
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A chilling tale about belief and freedom. Yuri grows up under a stifling regime where there is no freedom of speech. One day he slips up, and is sent to a prison camp from which there seems little chance of escape...

User reviews

1 review
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0(1)
Characters
 
3.0(1)
Writing Style
 
3.0(1)
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Road of Bones
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Yuri is a curious boy, who loves knowing the truth about things. It's what gets him into trouble... and out of it. At the age of 12, he is dismissed from school to go to work as hod carriers along with the rest of his school, including his best friend, Alyosha. When Alyosha dies because of a rotten hod and unfortunate timing, Yuri, although he knows better, speaks up during lunch about site safety, which brings the guards in. Luckily, he escapes, but a while later, is not listening during a speech and gives the wrong answer, which brings the guards in again. This time, they catch him and he is sentenced to ten years in prison. But Yuri is smart and manages to escape (albeit after two or three years). But who is he now and can he overcome the cruel and barely human person he has now become?

Though this story is very memorable, it is not happy at all, in fact, Yuri's life is almost a non-stop story of misery. It definitely makes you think, though.

I would recommend it to older kids, because, although it seems simple enough - an adventure story about a boy surviving in a harsh environment, it's not.

I don't really like the person Yuri has become, a harsh, cruel person, although I suppose, what could you expect? Being sent to do hard labour in a harsh environment where death is routine when you are 12 must be a tough experience. There he learns how to squash all sense of compassion and pity in favour of survival.

This novel deals with those troubling questions about how humans can be such monsters in the name of making the world a better place. "Faith," one prisoner speculates, "A cause behind you... they're blinded by it. Fortified by it. So fortified that what they do seems good and worthy even if, done for any other purpose, those very same things would seem shocking, even to them."

I think Yuri is swaying dangerously close to that "faith" idea near the end. He is so set on getting people to join his cause to defeat the evil tyrant, that he thinks, for example: "...if those too stupid to understand the aim in view had to be whipped int seeing that they'd been beaten for too long, then whipped they must be."

All in all, this book is memorable, if not happy, and I'd recommend it to those who would like a deep read.
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