Review: The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher

The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher
The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher by Doug MacLeod
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Doug Macleod is one of Australia’s premier writers – full stop. From Sister Madge’s Book of Nuns, through The Comedy Company and Kath & Kim, and My Incredible Life and Death, to the beautiful Siggy and Amber, Tumble Turn (swoons) and The Clockwork Forest.
The Life of a Teenage Body-snatcher follows young Thomas Timewell, “sixteen and a gentleman”. We meet Thomas as he is attempting to steal the newly-buried body of his grandfather. An unusual pastime for a young gentleman, you might think. And you would be right. But Thomas is just trying to fulfil Grandfather’s dying wish – for his body to be donated to science. Unfortunately, Thomas mother doesn’t think this is a good idea, and so grandfather goes into the ground. And also unfortunately, body-snatching is against the law, and Thomas risks going to jail for the sake of his grandfather.
Fortunately for Thomas (and Grandfather), he meets a resurrectionist named Plenitude. Plenitude is a man of honour, wisdom and care, and is, as it turns out, the perfect person to have caught Thomas digging noisily into Grandfather’s grave.
The Life of a Teenage Body-snatcher is funny, black, thoughtful and moving. It is definitely one of Doug MacLeod’s best books in a long history of excellent writing.

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