Critical Review of Danger Boy Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 29 September 2016

Critical Review of Danger Boy

Mark Williams’ “Danger Boy: Ancient fire” is set in 2019. It is a science fiction and time travelling novel. The text explores the effects of building a time machine. In Mark Williams’ novel, he examines the negative impact of futurist technology. Although the concept of time travelling may seem appealing at first glance, there is an ultimately destructive consequence that comes with it, like losing a love one. The novel opens with an argument between Eli’s father, Sandusky, and Mr Howe, a representative from a government department. Mr Howe persuades Sandusky to invent a machine that can slow down time in a force field.

Sandusky’s wife, a scientist, assists Sandusky to invent the time travelling machine but she is sucked into the machine and travels back in time. Therefore, Sandusky is urged to produce another time machine that can slow down time with a more stable core. Upon starting up the machine, a piece of old paper emerges. Eli reaches for the newspaper and gets sucked into the year of Alexandria (415 C. E). Eli and his companion, a dinosaur and an Alexandrian, seeks to reunite Sandusky’s wife, returning to the present day life and save the world from the fatal disease that has slipped through time.

The novel is structured by different narrative perspectives, in which different characters narrate the story from their personal point of view and experience. This type of structure of narrative point of views offers the reader a different perspective of the world from three characters: Eli, Clyne and Thea. The writer’s intention here may be to demonstrate the reality is never black or white, but can be interpreted and understood in different ways in different individuals.

However, the one limitation to this type of structure is that the reader may experience confusion in attempting to understand the flow of the story, in which disputes the coherency of events. There are no obvious clues to indicate the change of the protagonist. The only visible clue available is the chapter title and the narrator’s name. Hence, this confuses us in terms of identifying the protagonist. As the reader continues to read, they will encounter an acronym many times before it gives its meaning.

There are instances in the text when certain words such as “WHOMPEs” suddenly appear, which disrupts the flow of the story. Reading this novel for the first time will confuse the reader. As the reader progresses through the novel, Sandusky explains to Eli what a “WHOMPERs” is. It is a “Wide Orbiting Massless ParticlE Reversers. ” The writers intention suggest that the scientific invention is an abstract idea which is foreign to humanity. The author uses a stream of consciousness to enable the reader to engage with the thought process of the character.

When Sandusky answered Eli’s question about time, he replied ‘you go into the Fifth Dimension…hard to tell the difference between time and space, or when and where. Or even who and what. ” This encourages the reader to think and be in the mind of the narrator. This is a really good idea for advanced readers who want to think beyond the novel. Williams’ got inspired to write the novel by his son. He got the idea when his son was running down the hallway yelling out “I’m a Danger Boy! ” The novel’s setting is based on where he lives, which is LA. There could be a connection between the novel’s setting and where he lives.

One connection is that LA is a place for relaxation and tourism. The main character travels to LA with his father to relax a bit after the tragic incident. One of the major themes in “Danger Boy” is time traveling. Time traveling is frequent in the novel. It happens when ever Eli puts his “WHOMPER” charged baseball cap on. Another theme them is history. History is shown in this novel from many perspectives. It is seen by going back in time to Alexandria (415 C. E). The main motif in the novel is a baseball cap. It is a motif because it’s a device that allows Eli to time travel.

Without the baseball cap, Eli would just be like any other ordinary kid. This novel can be compared with Audrey Niffenegger’s “The Time Traveller’s Wife”. The two novels involve the same themes; history and time travelling. In “Danger Boy” Eli becomes a time traveller after he touches a time machine. He travels back in time to Alexandria. He can control when he wants to time travel, but can’t control on where it’ll take him. In “The Time Traveller’s Wife” Henry is born with a genetic disorder. This genetic disorder allowed him to time travel. There was one thing that he can’t control.

It is where he lands from time travelling and when he time travels. Ultimately, Williams has created an adventurous and exciting novel. The book was exciting because it produced tension into whether the protagonists find Margret or not. The writer produced a text that was a bit difficult to read and establishment of the main character. The author shaped the words in the sentences really strangely which sometimes doesn’t make sense or it is not suitable, so the reader needs to re-read it to understand it. This novel should be raising questions about time travel, especially in the future.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 29 September 2016

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