The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

bunkerWinner of the 21014 CILIP Carnegie Medal

Linus is imprisoned alone in an underground bunker. He doesn’t know why he’s there or where there is or who has put him there. He’s joined gradually by a young girl, a female estate agent, a fat, hungover businessman, a drug addict and a dying scientist. None of them has any more idea of what is going on than Linus. Their captor sends food down to them in a lift, turns the lights on and off on a regular schedule, and watches them, via cameras in every room. He also plays games with them. Scary games. And when they try to rebel, he punishes them

I’m not sure I’m making a good job of summarising this book for you. I can tell you that it’s properly gripping in that way that has you fumbling for the switch on the kettle because you don’t want to put the book down for long enough to look at it. And I loved the cast of characters; not at all the kind of group of people you expect to have thrown together in a young adult novel, and all the more fascinating for that.

What happens? Well, some people come out of the story better than others. I can’t tell you any more without spoiling it. And I should say something about the ending, but I’m not sure how to without giving it away. So I’ll say this. People’s reactions to the ending varied wildly and some condemned it as unsuitable for a book aimed at children. From what I had read about the book I thought I would hate it. But I didn’t. The ending made sense in the context and it felt right.

The Bunker Diary is not my favourite book of the year, perhaps, but worth a read. And it will make me pick up some more by Kevin Brooks.

piranha stars green 4

Claire Watts

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2 Responses to The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

  1. spykeyone says:

    Well no. It’s basically Saw, Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV and Saw V? Not denigrating it. I would probably read it but it would have to be very, very good to make an impact. P.S. I’m not a YA but then again I watched Texas Chainsaw when I was 16 (30 years ago) *sigh* Would be nice to see/read something more original and shocking? – Sorry, that sounds REALLy negative. Sorry. 😦

    Like

    • I don’t think shock is the point of Bunker Diary. It is shocking, to me anyway, but I don’t do horror as a rule. But the point of Bunker Diary is about finding what you can in yourself, I think. I found it profoundly sad on the whole, especially the end, but there were some things in it that were uplifting. And to me the difference between a movie and a book is always going to be that you can be in the person’s head in the book which means you can go further into their experience.

      Liked by 1 person

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