Scott O'Dell Leon Garfield - Essay

Leon Garfield

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Scott O'Dell is a much-honored author, a real general of children's literature who comes with as many medals as a prizewinning Swiss chocolate. Therefore he must be judged by the highest standards as one's expectations are keenly aroused. Alas, they are not fulfilled [with The Captive]. We all understand what is meant by a good bad book. It is a book that is thoroughly reprehensible and lacking in all the higher qualities of literature, such as moral values, philosophy, construction, character-drawing and general credibility, and yet contrives to be thoroughly readable…. Well, The Captive is what I can only describe as a bad good book. It is good inasmuch as it is well constructed, well researched,...

(The entire section is 490 words.)