Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Retirement Rescue - Prove Yourself A Hero

Prove Yourself a Hero by K. M. Peyton
Published - 1978
Pages – 173
In print? – No. But see if you see a copy secondhand, snatch it up.
THEN - 4.5 stars out of five
NOW - 4.5 stars out of five

This was my favourite re-read book for years. It’s definitely my most-travelled because it’s so small and light.

Jacket description:
One can never prepare to be kidnapped: to anticipate the terror, exhaustion and violence: or to understand the disorientation and imbalance that accompanies the return to freedom – if one is lucky.
Jonathan Meredith’s disappearance, apart from anything else, was annoying. It cost half a million pounds and mucked up a lot of arrangements, particularly his parents’. And for Jonathan, things would never be the same again.

You can tell this book is old – look at the use of ‘one’ and the colons! But, the writing doesn’t feel dated. In fact, reading it now gives the impression that it’s a book written recently, but SET in the past. Everyone has their strange favourite book-themes, mine is kidnapping. This book is special in that doesn’t just deal with the kidnapping – that takes up about half of the book – it also deals with the aftermath. Jonathan, the son of a business tycoon, is extremely claustrophobic, but he faces his capture and the prospect of death very maturely. This is as good a book as I remember it being when I first read it.

'He didn’t see how he was going to even notice if he lost consciousness, because there was so little to show for being alive, except the spreading pain of cramps which he would have been all too happy to forego. There was, curiously, no sense of time: time was only as long as he could breathe, and time was running out.' - Page 22

'He could see one solitary star between the clouds, and it’s unwinking eye transfixed him with this extraordinary sense of his own being, because shortly he wouldn’t be.' - Page 65


  1. Sounds like a really interesting book! IF you like books to do with kidnap, I'd recommend Stray by Rachel Vincent. Urban fantasy, and it's just awesome!

  2. that cover looks plain creepy. it does look good though, really suspenseful. need to add this to my holds....Great quotes too. Especially the second one. If you liked it, I'll probably like it:)

  3. I've never heard of this, but it sounds pretty good!

  4. Oh, I LOVED this book! Must've taken it out of the library 20 times, and finally bought a copy as an adult. Did you know there was a sequel of sorts? A Midsummer Night's Death - same main character, a few years later, at school. It didn't have quite the same grip as the kidnapping, but still a good read.

    Ta for the trip down memory lane (and hurrah for Operation Retirement Rescue!).

  5. Jo - thanks for the recommendation! I'll check it out asap!

    Amy - The cover is creepy. Mine is different, but there were no pics of it anywhere and it's falling apart so I couldn't photograph it well.

    prophecygirl - It is. Although not in print anymore :(

    Susie Day - Yay!!! Someone else has read it :) I did know she often mixes characters around in her books, but haven't read any with Jonathan. I'll have to find it.