This is definitely a rite of passage type novel, but in this case the rite is particularly nasty. A boy of fifteen changes into a man useful to his community. He wishes to have physical challenges - but why. The story is will hold you gripped in a vice. You will not like what is happening, but you will want to know how it happens. How does the boy in the first chapter become the man you meet in the second? Impossible to put this book down.
No matter how fascinated he was by the games and colourful graphics, Hermano couldn't bear to be in Walrus's room for very long. There was an odour that he could only describe as the smell of a drooled-on pillowcase. It was mild, perhaps other people wouldn't even notice it, but Hermano started thinking about it even before he entered the room. Driven by the smell, his impatience quickly mounted, and after ten or fifteen minutes all he wanted to do was get out of there