Alan Garner Aidan Chambers - Essay

Aidan Chambers

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Red Shift's] top tune—the main plot and the easiest to follow—tells of an intelligent, oversensitive teenager, Tom (his wit saves him from being an emotionally spotty bore), who lives in a trailer with his disagreeably possessive mother and weak-willed army pa (overworked stock characters in teenage fiction, but given some vitality and individuality here). Tom is in love with a better-balanced, equally intelligent girl, Jan.… The plot begins with Jan preparing to move to London, and Tom toiling in an emotional panic that reaches a volcanic climax when his parents ask if he and Jan have "had any occasion to do anything to make us ashamed of you."

In order to solve their separation the...

(The entire section is 1008 words.)