‘Well, you’ve got to do something,’ Rosemary said. ‘Have a go at being an actor and maybe you’ll end up on television. You’ve already got good diction.’
‘Good what?’ I said.
‘Diction,’ she said. ‘You speak well.’
‘Oh, that,’ I said and then I told her about the lawyer guy. ‘The lawyer guy said I was a brilliant actor because I didn’t speak well. He said I was the most convincing mumbler that ever showed fake remorse.’
Kosta is on a good behaviour bond after spray painting graffiti on a wall at his school. His old school now, because he’s been expelled. He has recurring dreams about being in a small plane that’s about to crash. After a failed stint as a paper boy, Kosta responds to a newpaper advertisement from Jack, resident of a nearby aged care facility. Jack is legally blind and he wants Kosta to read to him twice a week. Sometimes Kosta reads, sometimes Jack talks about his past, life in the Depression and in World War II. Kosta, tells Jack about the drama group he belongs to, about his girlfriend Kathy, about how life is now.
‘Night Vision’ is a compelling tale of youth and old age. Barnes paints a sympathetic and real picture of the two main characters, Kosta and Jack. Kosta is a teenager with strong opinions and little direction. Jack looks back on his life, unable to make peace with events that occurred half a lifetime, half a world away. Stitching these two stories together are dreams. Dreams of the future, dreams of the past. Suitable for lower and middle secondary readers, this novel offers rich discussion material.
Night Vision by Rory Barnes
ABC Books 2006