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Michael Sweeney's Method by Sean Condon
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Michael Sweeney's Method

by Sean Condon

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Michael Sweeney’s Method is a novel set in a private school somewhere in Australia. It is a gentle, humorous story that also touches on some sad topics. Michael tells the story which takes place during his final year of high school. He has one true friend, Dud. These two are very different on one level - Michael is sensitive and nervous and often behaves in a way which belies his intelligence (which is really quite high). Dud is a jock and seems a bit dumb but shows his intelligence in the way he behaves as a true friend. One day Michael decides that they should befriend the new American kid before the creeps do. Tom (the American) turns out to be okay, except all three start to find themselves in trouble from the time they get together. But what is the secret about Tom’s dad? He is apparently famous, but for what? Meanwhile Michael meets Lucy (or is that Edna?) and falls in love. But nothing is that simple. Somehow the boys get involved in a theatre production and even more complications arise as life rolls on. Michael is an unusual and believable character, with the odd, not-too-tragic flaw. He struggles with life in a realistic way, retains his sense of humour and loves his dog. Michael Sweeney’s Method is worth reading just for the dog subplot, but there’s much more to enjoy in this book.
  storyLines | Apr 14, 2009 |
Very similar to the Nick Earl's style of writing - gawky teenage boy in the last year of high school discovers himself, his true friends and a relationship. In this case, it is Michael who is in Year 12 when he decides to make friends with "The American " a new kid at his school. In the course of this friendship, Michael, his best mate "Dud" and "Thomas Booth" ( the American) get sent to Drama club as detention, in their exclusive school, and take over the running of the school production ( a re-written account of The breakfast Club). As well as this Michael meets an amazing partially deaf girl called Lucy and decides to do something for a 19 year old Australian boy Johnny Huang who is on death row overseas for attempting to smuggle heroin to help his sick uncle. It all makes for very amusing reading as well as intriguing reading as we try to determine Thomas's father's secret identity ( he is a famous actor in the vein of Mel Gibson). This book is for mature older readers as it contains some very explicit discussionsof the content of pornographic movies! Well written and amusing.
  nicsreads | Mar 28, 2008 |
This is a book that can be appreciated on many levels. It is at once a very funny story, a fantastic story which is well told, easy and difficult to read in turn. It's a book with well drawn characters, people you feel you know and like. It's both believable and unbelievable - it takes you through wonderfully unbelievable events, then grounds you in reality. It slips politics in, unobtrusively, not taking away from the story and humour, but powerfully nevertheless. But mainly it's a story told by a 17 year-old boy who starts off describing himself as a nobody and whose life takes some interesting turns and he ends up getting involved in some major things, growing in confidence before he knows it. It's not heavy on the maturation process of the protagonist, Michael Sweeney, but it's a wonderful process that just happens along with all the events. The book is about Michael's relationship with a girl, his relationship with his dog, his friendship with his old mate, Dud, and a new friend from America, Tom, who turns out to be someone very unexpected. It's about how Michael earns real respect from people in the school community who previously wouldn't give him a second glance. Most of all, it's a damned good story; I couldn't put it down. Just read it. ( )
  tsheko |
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Michael Sweeney and his friend Dud are just two of the many invisible nothings at their expensive school. They come from deep in the suburbs and they're not cool or tough or even that brainy. So they're pretty much left alone, until they make friends with the new American guy. And before long, Michael Sweeney is somebody. But that's just the beginning of his troubles.… (more)

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