Island Days features what is perhaps the most exciting first kiss of all time
Jakob Zervakis has a Dutch mother and a Greek father. When his mother books a holiday with her new boyfriend at a luxury hotel in Thailand, she sends Jakob to stay at his father’s restaurant on an island in the Mediterranean for the first time in years. Jakob takes thirty comic books with him, just to be on the safe side.
Fortunately, the son of the owner of the competing beach restaurant, where the moussaka tastes of cardboard, is there to provide some entertainment. They were friends way back when Jakob lived in the village, and he’s been looking forward to Jakob’s return. Together, they rediscover the blissful island life that has been waiting for him all this time. And when Puck, Michális’s stunning summertime girlfriend, arrives, everything proves to be even more fun with three.
There are few authors who can write about awkward situations as wonderfully as Gideon Samson. It is as if the reader is looking into a particularly honest mirror. Even more so this time, as Samson has chosen to employ an unusual perspective, in which the ‘you’ form is used and it feels as if the writer can read your deepest thoughts.
Is there an absolute line between doing, joining in and watching? That is the question at the heart of this book, which will give you goose bumps and tantalise your senses. Because when his new best friends are kissing beside him on the beach and Puck suddenly puts her hand on his leg and starts stroking, Jakob realises that he is anything but invisible and even as a reader you feel as if you are being drawn into this dangerous game.
In what is still a relatively small body of work, Samson explores the notion that children are not as innocent as they seem. In this book, he does so in a more gripping and relatable style than ever before. The story is so intense that at times it seems as if the author has stopped telling a story, the reader has stopped listening to one, and that wall made of paper pages and cardboard covers no longer matters.