The Body of Christopher Creed

May 29, 2009
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I read the book, The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci. This book was first published in the United States in the year 2000. After reading the summary in the front cover, it seemed to be just an average mystery. However, as I continued to read this book, I discovered it not to be a total waste of time after all. I realized I was actually getting quite involved with this mystery.

The story started in, frankly, the worst place it could have...the future. This was very confusing, and I had a hard time getting my bearings. A strange boy named Creed has disappeared leaving only what appears to be a suicide note. Torey Adams, an acquaintance of this boy, feels partially responsible. The story continues to be told in first person by Torey. Torey eventually opens a file on his computer labeled Creed.doc. Thankfully, this is where the story finally starts to pick up.

This document is actually Torey's chronicle of Creed's disappearance and the events and happenings surrounding it. This is where the "real story" begins. More of the plot is revealed at this time as Torey describes how Christopher Creed states that he wished to have a life like other kids, naming Torey among others in this note. The note ended with, "I only wish to be gone. Therefore I AM." (quoted from the back cover)

You quickly notice that Torey is a very deep thinker. The author conveys this by starting the "real story" with Torey sitting in church. He is wondering why all the paintings of Jesus on the cross show him in a loincloth. He thinks it's silly that something so obvious is overlooked to satisfy our shame. I also liked how the author used Creed's note to help develop Creed's personality. The note basically showed how much Creed hated his life and wished he had been born someone else. Torey has many vivid flashbacks about how he treated Creed poorly. Creed was a guy who didn't really fit in to any cliques. From what I read, he sounded like he could really get on your nerves. I loved how the author wrote Torey's flashbacks. She gave you the sense that Torey didn't really like Creed, but at the same time seemed to depict Torey with remorse.

As the story moves along you get to see how Creed's disappearance starts to affect everyone. The stress on the town increases when a body isn't found after many weeks. Torey becomes infatuated with finding out what caused Creed to snap and disappear. Torey frequently visualizes the time he pummeled Creed in sixth grade. What I liked about this part of the story is that it seemed like Torey wanted to figure out Creed's thoughts just to ease his own guilt.

The story slowly unravels as Torey joins forces with others on his mission to understand Creed and discover his fate. After a number of unexpected twists, this mystery is somewhat resolved. Torey ends up in rehab after seeing some unsettling sights that sent his brain into hyper-panic mode. As the book finishes, it finally becomes clear as to what Torey experienced.

I have to be honest when I say I didn't like the ending. The book just sort of dropped off after building on so many emotions and events. The subtle message that I believe the author delivers is that people don't always realize the effect they have on others' lives. I did enjoy the plot and articulation of the overall book. It was written with a sense of foreboding suspense. This foreboding surfaces as clues keep showing up. People keep guessing where the body would show up. One person even guesses that the body will fall from a tree. The cover correlates to the front cover because it shows a forest viewed from above. Even so, it seemed to have a lackluster ending. The readers are left to wonder for themselves what ultimately came of Creed.


Another thing that I should mention is that this book includes some mature content and profanity. This adds another degree of realism to the story. Torey is in his junior year of high school and therefore the subject matter corresponds closely to that age reader. I wouldn't suggest it to anyone under 13. I congratulate Carol Plum-Ucci on her first novel. So, as it turns out, reading this book was more worthy of my time than I had anticipated.





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