Rih Isfel

You’re hearing it first on J’accuse and trust me I’m honoured by the author’s choice. Pierre mailed me last night to ask me if I could plug his new book that will be hitting the bookstands near you on the 6th of July. How could I say no? The fact that J’accuse would be getting the exclusive first for the announcement was a trivial matter compared to the fact that “Pierre’s first foray into teenage literature” was finally round the corner.

But now I’m in a bit of a twist. What do I really know about the book? I know the title: “Rih Isfel”. It can be very loosely translated as Southerly Wind but involves many more cultural/climatic connotations including humid, sticky weather that is so typical of our summers. From the accompanying poster that Pierre sent me I can tell that we have a teen-thriller on our hands. Where is Jonathan? Has he been kidnapped? The beaming young boy’s face on the poster must be a younger Pierre (though I am guessing here) – and I am quite sure the author does not feature in the story – but apart from that I cannot tell you much about it.

Pierre, the weaver of those lovely web stories we have got used to, is writing it. He’s Gozitan, he’s handsome (that goes with being Gozitan) and he’s mastered the language and storywriting like no one else of his generation. Do you really need to know more? What would be the point of my summarising the rest of the storyline anyway? It’s all there for you to discover.

As for the poster. I just love it. Never judge a book by it’s cover they say but in this day and age the packaging is also part and parcel of the deal. I do not remember the name of Trevor Zahra’s latest book but I do recall a corny cover reminescent of Malta book covers in the eighties. In other words, notwithstanding all the respect and admiration I have for Trevor and his works I cannot fathom how they would choose such a cover. Pierre has invested some time in prepping up for the launch. He has to appeal to the teen audience after all.

The poster reminds anyone who has visited Brussels of the hundreds of Missing Children posters that one can see around train stations. Then there is the little trick of word play: (Q)Rajtu? implies two questions in one: Have you seen it? and Have you read it? The phone number to call is actually the launch date of the book… 6th July (in case you forgot).

Order your copy now… I am sure you won’t regret it. Tell you what… if you do read the book and you do not like it I’ll buy the copy off you. How’s that for a guarantee?

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6 responses to “Rih Isfel

  1. Ok, so I’m not exactly unbiased here, as I’m publishing the book, but I totally agree with your description of Pierre’s writing. I was a fan of his blog from day one and have been excited about this book since I first read the manuscript. He deserves all the praise he will surely get for this book … Vai pierre 🙂

    ch

  2. The poster of the book is great. It does feel to me though like the boy has been kidnapped…

  3. For me it doesn’t really look like the boy has been kidnapped. Not with that smile.

  4. Seems like the poster is provoling a mini-discussion of its own.

    Most children do not have “post-kidnap” photos. Photos available for “Have you seen him?” posters are normally happy family photos taken on some fun occasion. So it is quite normal that the photo on a poster for a missing child portrays that child in a happier, pre-kidnap/disappearance moment I guess.

    Mystery solved?

  5. But still I think the poster would have been even more effective had they chosen a sad looking boy. I have been abroad and usually on Missing Boy Posters the children look quite sad. That’s how I remember them. But it is surely effective and quite original.

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