Polychrome Interest

A Random Blog of Everything I like

The Wishing Game by Patrick Redmond

In the bleak winter term, of 1954 something terrible happened at Kirkston Abbey for boys. Now, more than forty years later, journalist Tim Webber thinks he’s found the key to uncovering the truth. But is he prepared to live with the consequences…?

Strong blurb, don’t you think?

I read a review of this book long time ago, couldn’t remember where, all I can remember was that the reviewer thought that The Wishing Game was a great book. When I saw the book on secondhand bookstore, the memory of that review hit me right away. Without thinking I bought the book. I am glad I bought the book 🙂

The Wishing Game (also called Something Dangerous, I don’t know why it has 2 titles but I like The Wishing Game more) by Patrick Redmond centered on a fourteen year old boy named Jonathan Palmer and his charismatic new best friend Richard Rokeby…and I am in love with Richard Rokeby!! He is the reason why I think this book is great.

For me, great book depends on two things, great story or great character! Some books have amazing story but forgettable characters while others have ordinary story but incredibly well built character…I like them both. What The Wishing game has is great character and great story … unfortunately, the ending is not satisfying.

The story began with a reporter named Tim Webber who had an interview with an old man regarding a terrible incident which took place in 1954. At first, the old man wasn’t sure but he finally convinced and spell it all out. That was the prologue, what comes next is the real story…but it wasn’t told in first person kind of way because, obviously, Redmond didn’t want us to guess who the old man was.

Jonathan Palmer was a fourth year student who hated his school, for him the boarding school for boys Kirkston Abbey was nothing but a prison. He was good at history but terrible at Latin, to make matter worse his Latin teacher, Mr. Ackerley often made him translated the toughest sentence. He was a weak boy but not yet became the object of constant bullying by the toughest gang in his class, James Wheatley’s gang.

Jon’s fate was about to change when Ackerley made him sit next to Richard Rokeby. Richard was a boy who minded his own business and had no interest with everyone around him. His attitude gave him strong charisma adored by many pupils…he also adored by me. The moment his character was introduced, I immediately fell in love with this kid. I tend to like annoying character with strong personality. Rokeby had a way to annoy people around him, especially teachers. I like the way he spoke so politely but full of poison ready to kill the person he was talking to.

Here’s a quote of Rokeby and Ackerley’s early conversation (I cut the description of the class because I only wanted to share the conversation)

Richard Rokeby turned away from the window and towards Mr. Ackerley. ‘Sir?’

‘Rokeby, forgive me for disturbing you. Would you do us the great honour of translating sentence five, or would you prefer to continue watching the groundmens marking out the pitch?’

‘I’d rather watch the groundmens sir.’

‘Pardon?’ said Mr. Ackerley who clearly thought that he’d misheard.

‘I said I’d rather watch the groundmens, sir.’

Mr. Ackerley’s eyes widened. The smile faded from his face. ‘Are you trying to be funny?’ he demanded.

Richard Rokeby seemed unconcerned at the prospect of bad weather. ‘I’m answering your question, sir,’ he replied coolly. ‘I assumed that that’s what you wanted me to do. Otherwise, why would you ask it?’

I have less love toward Jon even though he was the main character.

Wheatley wanted Rokeby to be his friend, he also thought Rokeby was very cool…but Rokeby always brushed him off. Meanwhile, Jonathan managed to be friend with Richard after they were forced to sit together. Out of jealousy seeing how Jon could hang out with Richard while he didn’t…he made fun of Jon and bullied him.

The bullying made Jon and Richard even closer. But their friendship was destructive, at least on Jon’s part. If you are homophobic (fortunately I never mind such relationship), you might get annoyed with how close the two was … they’re not gay but they were so close you might mistake it for that kind of love.

The door of Richard Rokeby’s study was bolted. Richard and Jonathan lay on the bed, staring up the ceiling. Richard’s arm was draped around Jonathan. Jonathan’s head rested on Richard’s shoulder. A companionable silence existed between them.

Jon soon learned that Richard was very possessive, what he was willing to do just to keep Jon to himself terrified Jon.

‘You’re the only person in this world who matters to me and no one is ever going to hurt you. I’ll kill anyone who tries’

These two boys’ interaction is the best side of this book…however, The Wishing Game also shares stories of some of the teachers which in the end connect to Jon and Richard.

As I have said before…despite the fact that many readers in Goodreads tend to like it…the ending was not satisfying for me. Maybe I had TOO high expectation as I love the book more every time I turned the page. I thought the ending was forced too much, it felt like Redmond wanted it to have twist end but he did it too much and too out of context.

But…overall, I still love this book…thanks to Richard’s character.

Book Details:

Title: The Wishing Game
Author: Patrick Redmond
Language: English
Pages: 404 pages
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

This is my fourth entry for R.I.P Challenge, first entry for Peril The Second.

Have you read this book? What do you think of the ending?

About Novroz

I actively maintained 2 blogs. My personal blog is about things that I love: Turtles, Books, Movies, Music, Larc en Ciel, Muse, Cillian Murphy, The Mighty Boosh and many more. I also help my 3 super cute turtles, Kroten, Papoe and Kurome, to maintain their own blog: http://kamekroten.wordpress.com

18 comments on “The Wishing Game by Patrick Redmond

  1. Pingback: R.I.P VII – Let’s Start The Peril « Polychrome Interest

    September 22, 2012

    ooh, I love bleak winters 🙂 Do you miss winter, Novia? Have you ever experienced snow and zero temperatures?

    • Novroz
      September 22, 2012

      oh…Dezz, I live in tropical country. I only experience 2 seasons. I wish I can feel snow one day

      • DEZMOND
        September 22, 2012

        I know you live in a tropical country but I thought that maybe you’ve travelled somewhere sometime where they have winter 😉 The Autumn starts here today in the Northern Hemisphere and we’ve already been having only 4 or 5*C during nights 🙂

        • Novroz
          September 23, 2012

          I can’t afford going abroad…If I could, I would have flown myself to London to see Cillian’s Play, Misterman 😉

          I think I would freeze at that degree…the lowest here is 16 degrees (using AC) and that’s already freezing.

  3. Chinoiseries
    September 22, 2012

    So, The Wishing Game could be considered a psychological thriller? You have certainly grabbed my attention with this book! I wasn’t familiar with it before reading your review.

    • Novroz
      September 22, 2012

      yup! it’s a psychological thriller. I didn’t know this author either but I remember reading its review and for some reasons it stuck in my head…glad it lived up to its review.

  4. Caroline
    September 23, 2012

    I think I would like it, I like the characters and the relationship sounds interesting. Too bad about the ending but I often feel let down by the ending of suspenseful books.

    • Novroz
      September 23, 2012

      The relationship is really engaging! I love every I read about them. You know how I love great ending but even though this book doesn’t have it, I didn’t mind at all because the journey was great.

  5. Alice Audrey
    September 23, 2012

    Having an ending that is not satisfying can make a huge difference in how I see a book. It must really be something for you to give it a thumbs up anyway.

    • Novroz
      September 24, 2012

      Usually, I would dislike books or movies with unsatisfying ending…just like how I feel with Harry Potter…but the ending is The Wishing Game isn’t terrible, it would make a nice twist for many people, but the twist didn’t quite work for me.
      Beside that, I really like the previous journey before the ending.

      • Alice Audrey
        September 27, 2012

        Careful. You’ll get me started on the Pity Potter Party again.

  6. lynnsbooks
    September 30, 2012

    I love the sound of this book, but, I would hesitate to pick it up because you mention the end was disappointing. I’ll maybe see if I can find a copy from my library – I’m still intrigued but I hate it when I invest so much time in a book and then find the ending doesn’t satisfy.
    Thanks for the review though.
    Lynn 😀

    • Novroz
      October 1, 2012

      Well…some (in Goodreads.com) said they like the ending, dare yourself because you might like the ending more than me 😉
      Thank you for reading, Lynn 🙂

      • lynnsbooks
        October 2, 2012

        Well, luckily my Library has a copy so I might check it out – although apparently the copy is in the basement – sounds spooky! (Just so long as I don’t have to go down there to find it).
        Lynn 😀

        • Novroz
          October 3, 2012

          In the basement? but you can still borrow it, right?

          Hehe somehow I imagine that ALL thriller and horror books are put in the basement to add extra creepiness 😉

          • lynnsbooks
            October 4, 2012

            Maybe that’s something the library could start doing to promote their books – all the creepy stuff goes in a dark and damp basement with huge spider webs, if you want to read fantasy you have to scale to the topmost shelves to find any, detective stories you have to unravel a series of mysterious clues and sci-fi locate the books using a telescope! Ahem, maybe I should just leave this well alone!
            Lynn 😀

          • Novroz
            October 4, 2012

            If I had a lot of money…I will make that kind of library 😉

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