Hi guys, happy belated Christmas.
I hope you’re all enjoying the festive season.
Today, I’ll be discussing the short literary tale, Anybody Want to Play War, by Tommy. B. Smith.
So, if you’re all settled, with your favourite drink by your side, let’s dive in.
In 1980, young Bryce Gallo is mauled by a rogue dog, leaving a nasty scar on his face. When he gets suspended from school for three days, Bryce decides to run away, finding himself a job in the process, along with new friends and more drama where he could do with less.
The story dove straight into the action, showing us how Bryce came to fear dogs after his attack.
We see how his physical deformity affects his everyday life and self-esteem, making him shy away from others.
The story follows his personal journey of transformation, from being a generally unhappy teen, often getting himself into mischief, to becoming a young man that acknowledges his problems and tries to take on the responsibilities expected of him as a young adult.
The story progressed well, with each scene adding to Bryce’s journey. I felt very close to Bryce.
I could easily relate to his feelings of insecurity and his experiences of being kicked when already down. I think a lot of people nowadays would be able to relate to his situation.
I especially liked the ending as all the loose ends were tied up nicely.
Bryce is self-conscious ever since a tragic incident with a rogue dog left him physically scarred for life. I felt deeply connected to his plight, especially when no-one would listen to him when trying to explain his feelings and issues. I felt for him in those moments, understanding the listening ear he needed.
Tabby is a kind and intelligent older woman. I felt bad for her as she felt the need to hide herself away in her dark house due to her own facial deformity. In this way, Bryce’s character felt connected to her through the experience of a similar tragic accident. I liked how they mirrored each-other’s insecurities and helped each-other out whenever possible.
George Loveless is a harsh, easily-angered man that seemed to have a lot of inner-demons that were never dealt with. Cruel and bad-tempered, yet hardworking, he made for an interesting antagonist, alongside Bryce’s own inner-demons.
I felt that Bryce’s mother was mostly innocent in the grand scheme of things. She seemed to hold herself back at times when wanting to be more compassionate toward Bryce. I noticed particularly at the end of the story that Bryce’s step-father likely made the mother feel like she had to be stricter, even when her heart wasn’t in it.
Bryce’s step-father never cuts him any slack and this is what helped me to relate to Bryce’s hatred toward the man. His step-father constantly pressures him to do things, even though he’s still healing from the trauma caused by the rogue dog. He never gives Bryce a break, which leads him to continuously act-out. I feel that if his step-father had been a bit more understanding, then Bryce probably would have been less rebellious.
Overall, I loved this short tale. It showed a young man struggling to cope with a traumatic incident, but eventually pushing through and learning how to take better responsibility for himself and his actions.
My Rating: 4 stars.
Recommended: To anyone that loves a story of true character transformation.
To learn more about Anybody Want to Play War, please visit the book’s Goodreads page.
To learn more about the author, please visit Tommy. B. Smith’s Goodreads page.
Thank you for joining me for today’s review of Anybody Want to Play War, by Tommy. B. Smith .
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Wishing you a wonderful week,