Leon Garfield Philip Holland - Essay

Philip Holland

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Garfield's novels appeal to young readers for reasons which should become clear in looking at them individually. All his work has a strong narrative line and his books are worlds of violent adventure. Theatricality and melodrama are part of their fabric. The hero's search is not only for his identity but also for moral certainties in the shifting sands of good and evil. The hero is usually an adolescent boy, bewildered by the duplicity of the adult world. He is a valuable point of identification for the young reader. The moral choices he has to make are presented not in terms of psychological analysis (until we come to The Pleasure Garden) but in terms of action and discussion which offer a high level of...

(The entire section is 3239 words.)