Review Blog

Aug 03 2018

The strange fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold

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Random House, 2018. ISBN 9780451480477
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Noah Oakman, is the classic anti-hero if ever there was one. To avoid the labour of time-consuming choices, he wears his own daily "uniform" - a t-shirt emblazoned with the name,"Bowie". He spends much of the book making the most of a back injury to avoid swimming training, which to his parents equates to a college scholarship.
Being a concise history, the book begins by reconnecting with his two best friends, twins Alan and Val, who drag him along to a party. After meeting Circuit, who attempts to hypnotize him, things get surreal and the central quest begins. Genuinely trying to find explanations for the changes and coincidences he experiences over the coming weeks, he doesn't know whether he is suffering from paranoid delusions or is onto something revelatory. Allusions to The Matrix foreshadow the answer.
Noah takes his readers on a comical and poignant mission to confront his obsessions and coincidences and discover how they are related. What happened to youtube's Fading Girl? Who is OMG (Old Man Goiter)? Hypocritically, Noah resists watching the film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's with his younger sister Penelope, who has her own obsession with Audrey Hepburn.
Noah's complex frustrations reach fever pitch until Alan is seriously injured and Noah gets a grip on reality. Paramount is already busy turning Noah's adventure into a film as evidenced by the official trailer.  "The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik" is compelling reading, written by an edgy YA writer who knows how to keep us turning pages.
Deborah Robins

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