Monday, 4 May 2009

The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

Amazon Product Description: Mankind must put a stop to the dreadful destruction caused by the Iron Man. A trap is set for him, but he cannot be kept down. Then, when a terrible monster from outer space threatens to lay waste to the planet, it is the Iron Man who finds a way to save the world.

A few years ago I was at a teacher's workshop where we read the first few pages of this story. I was hypnotized. Ever since, I've had my eyes out for it and even planned to order it from Amazon. As luck would have it, I was at ISB last week and noticed this little gem at a book sale in the library.

This short 63-page book is magical. I especially loved the first chapter. Hughes writes poetically and brings the Iron Man alive for us. It sounds like poetry. It sounds like a fairy tale. Most of all, it sounds like an iron man - simple and strong, ambling forward step by step, too enormous to live comfortably on our small world.

Hear is a very short excerpt from the first two pages of the book:

The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff.

How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where had he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows.

Taller than a house, the Iron Man stood at the top of the cliff, on the very brink, in the darkness.

The wind sang through his iron fingers. His great iron head, shaped like a dustbin but as big as a bedroom, slowly turned to the right, slowly turned to the left. His iron ears turned this way, that way. He was hearing the sea. His eyes, like headlamps, glowed white, then red, then infra-red, searching the sea. Never before had the Iron Man seen the sea.

Isn't that amazing? It is really fun to read out loud. It sounds so neat. It sounds like the iron man the way the sentences kind of awkwardly lurch forward one after another. I love it.

You'll be amazed by this story. If you have a little brother to read to, he'll be fascinated too.

I'll give this one 4/5 stars. It is well worth reading.

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