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rachel, St Augustines Catholic College

Long Way Down

Written in verse, the powerful and gripping book Long Way Down is about a boy who has just experienced his brother’s death and now he is torn between the 3 rules of his culture (1 no crying, 2 no snitching 2, get revenge) and the unexpected, spontaneous visits in the lift. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because I think the topic of gun violence is very prominent in those sorts of cultures and the way Reynolds wrote the whole piece and structured it was very effective.

Not only was the use of verse in this book powerful, but the use of the pages helped create further suspense. The style Long Way Down has been written in helps elevate the seriousness; the use of poems was very appropriate for the themes in this book. Gun crimes in America are a serious topic and should be made aware in society and Reynolds has done so through this striking story.

Reynolds deliberately named the main character “Will” and it’s quite interesting he does because it gives his character a deeper meaning. Will, short for William, could suggest the character’s desire for something: he wants his brother back? The modal verb “will” is also used to express the future tense so it could suggest he will get revenge, for example. The word is also used to express inevitable events; his brother’s death was inevitable, he must follow the rules, he will follow them. The many definitions for the word “will” implies the character represents more than one thing, it gives Will a deeper meaning.

The ending of the book is slightly confusing but in a way that leaves you to ponder about it after you have read it and I think a good book should do that. After reading it, it left me more open-minded to other cultures with gun violence. I enjoyed reading it and give credit to Reynolds for writing it so well.

Posted on: 19th May 2019 at 11:05 am

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