Young Tom

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By: Forrest Reid

Young Tom (1944) completes the trilogy of novels featuring Tom Barber, which began with Uncle Stephen (1931) and The Retreat (1936), and it is probably Forrest Reid’s finest achievement. Acclaim from contemporary critics was unanimous, and the book won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize as the best novel of the year.

In many ways, ten-year-old Tom is like other boys: his life centres on his parents, school, and his best friend Pascoe. But he also has another existence, equally real, in his dreams and imagination. In this novel, we follow him as he plays with his three canine companions, Barker, Pincher and Roger, befriends and communicates with a rat and a squirrel, and tries to find out what happened to Ralph Seaford, who died at age ten and whose ghost now haunts Tom’s grandmother’s attic. In exquisite prose, without sentimentality, exaggeration, or a single false note, Forrest Reid brings to life Tom, his greatest creation, and accomplishes the difficult feat of allowing readers to revisit and experience anew the wonders and mysteries of childhood. This edition features a new introduction by Andrew Doyle and a selection of never-before-published photographs.