Above His Station by Darren Craske

9 Jul

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The Station Guard of Regal Street is running away from his past.

With his wife gone and his children having lives of their own, he lives at home in a bungalow, filled with memories of his late wife. Wanting to escape his past and the memory of Molly where ever he goes, he accepts a new post.

The only thing is, he can’t tell anyone where the new post is, what the station is for or for whom he is working. This suits him fine as all he wants to do is hide from himself and enjoy his life underground.

The problems begin when the Station Guard hears a voice belonging to someone he can’t see tells him that he’s in trouble and that the tiger has scented him. The Station Guard looks around but is told to look down.

Looking down, the Station Guard takes in the presence of a rather foul mouthed talking rat. As if that weren’t enough, the rat tells the station guard that something has happened above ground, something to which he is oblivious to, being so far below ground.

The Station Guard knows that he must head above his station, but the rat reminds him of the tiger, the tiger that has scented him and is coming for the Station Guard, with no hope of escape in sight.

Well, that’s not strictly true. The problems really begin when the Station Guard tries to get above ground and has to confront a pack of wild wolves, flamingo car drivers, armadillo and tree frog policeman, a musical number with back up singers and a whole host of other problems.

Least of which is a musical number, a trip out of this world and the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. Now would be a good time for a chocolate digestive biscuit if you have any…

My meager plot summary does not really cover the whole plot of Above His Station. It only really scratches the surface. Why is that? Well, that’s because Above His Station is one of those rare gems, one of those lovely, incredible books that you can no way summarize without giving everything away.

Instead, it is meant to be delved into, head first, until you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I read Above His Station twice in three days. I finished it in a day and a half and enjoyed it so much that I immediately went back to page one and started all over again.

I love Darren Craske’s work quite a lot but with Above His Station he has outdone himself not only in characters (at which he excels) but also with plot (at which he is also ace). What sets Above His Station apart is that it is unlike anything you will ever read or will ever read again.

During the first chapter, I thought I was in for a right treat of a mystery of sorts…until I got to the talking rat. Then things went woky, went more wonky still and by that point, I was having a grand old time. I laughed out loud on the bus, laughed out loud in public and just kept flipping pages madly, engrossed completely in the world that Craske has created.

Though books of this sort normally require a huge suspension of disbelief, Craske eased me into the world so slowly that I didn’t really notice things had gone completely crazy until it was too late. Or not late enough. Either way, I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in years. The only other book I have read twice in a row is Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. That ought to tell you something.

Craske has really outdone himself with Above His Station. His Cornelius Quaint Series is amazing, his novel The Lantern Menace incredible, but I feel as if all of his writing, all his work, has been leading up to this book, Above His Station.

It is quite simply the best time I have had reading a novel in years. To read Above His Station is to let yourself be taken on an incredible journey.

The problem is, you might not want to come back. An awesome read from start to finish and back again, Above His Station is required reading for anyone who loves a good book, period. 

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