“Sometimes we think we should be able to know everything. But we can’t. We have to allow ourselves to see what there is to see, and we have to imagine.”
—David Almond, Skellig
I listen to audiobooks everywhere and doing everything; riding the bus, jogging, cooking. But I started Skellig by David Almond late at night, with my eyes closed and mind focused. This turned out to be the perfect setting to allow this enchanting story to unfold.
Skellig is weirdly wonderful. With lyrical prose, Almond creates believable characters and captivating scenes in a short space. While the plot itself has refreshingly ambiguous elements, the reflections on themes such as family, friendship and the unknown are unmistakable and valuable. Listen to my (accordingly brief) review:
(Please excuse my unskilled delivery, this is my first attempt at something like this. Verbal communication is my weak point, so this was a challenge and learning experience for me. I never knew how harshly I pronounced my ‘s’ and ‘t’s!)
In audio format or print, Skellig will take only a matter of minutes to devour, and is well worth the read, so I won’t reveal any more. Allow Almond to sweep away your imagination and nourish your sense of wonder for an afternoon.
Skellig was first published in 1998, but I only recently came upon it in a list of Printz honor books. It has since been adapted into a play, opera, and movie (currently available for view on Netflix instant watch. I’m a big Tim Roth fan, so I watched it last night, but don’t recommend it half as highly as the book). In 2010, Almond published a prequel to Skellig, entitled My Name Is Mina.
You can listen to an excerpt of the Skellig audiobook via davidalmond.com.