I have been recently reading The Compound, a 256 paged book that takes the genre of fiction. The book was published by SA Bodeen. SA has written other books such as The Raft and The Garden. The Compound is #1 of a multi-book series. The novel was originally published in 2008.
Eli Yanakakis is not the average 9 year old. His family’s multi-billion dollar electronics corporation was a huge success. Eli “lived” in a large gated home in Seattle with his twin brother Eddy, sisters Therese and Lexie, and his parents. His Father, Rex Yanakakis is a very successful, “smart” and wealthy man who wanted the best for his family. Fearing a nuclear attack, Rex built a multi-million dollar elaborate Compound under ground for his family. During the night, the Yanakakis family was rushed into the compound under the impression of a nuclear attack. Being as careless as Rex turns out to be in the novel, he forgets one of his four children. After the door was locked it was just Eli, his parents and his sisters, leaving Eddy behind. The family was very solemn as they settled into the compound, with the help of their deranged father. Lexie and Therese found comfort in their personally designed rooms, but just the opposite with Eli. Eli missed his brother, his home and the social interactions with his friends. The compound was personally designed by Eli’s father Rex. Each family member had a room decorated with “objects” that pertain to their interests. Therese had interest in the oboe when her father brought one back from Paris for her. After many years of little to no social interaction Eli has become distressed when he finds out his father is planning on cloning children inside the compound to have a larger supply of meat for his family. Rex went through with his plans to clone three “supplement children” whos names were Cara, Lucas and Quinn. The family was very disturbed with his fathers un-religious acts and they decided to stop him. Rex had a hole in his scheme to lock his family in the compound. There was internet access outside of his dad’s office that was accessible to Eli. Eli quickly took advantage to his father’s mistake and tried to contact his long lost brother, Eddy. Eli swiftly found that his brother was ok, and there was no nuclear attack and that his family had been deceived for 6 years underground by a man who was suppose to help them. Eli tells his mother and sisters and they take extreme action to escape . . .
I choose to read The Compound since I read The Raft (Also written by SA Bodeen).
Rex: “Don’t be naive, Eli. People will do anything to survive. Had people known about this place, there would have been crowds begging to get in. I couldn’t have that.”
Eli: “What about the shuttle driver? Wouldn’t he know how to get into here?”
Rex: “In the end, I know he would have been taken care of.” – Page 89.
I choose to include this quoted passage in my essay because of the wording. Even though this passage is rather short, it signifies the central theme of the novel that being, Eli and the Yanakakis family being deceived by the father, Rex. The line from Rex: “People will do anything to survive … ” shows Rex’s reasoning behind locking his family underground for numerous years.
This novel is similar to the short story “Lars Farf”. Both novels include fathers wanting the best for their families and taking extreme measures and actions to do so. I thought the author did a great job spreading out the novel. What I mean by that sentence is that it is not easy to spread a book out through 6/7 years, however, SA Bodeen did an excellent job at doing so while still making the book interesting to read. I personally didn’t like the “unrealistic” aspects of the book. With that said, it does fit quite well into the fiction genre.
I would recommend this book to anyone seeking an “on-edge book”. A lot happens at once in some points in the novel that make you want to keeping on reading. I would rate The Compound a 6/10.
– Michael Farnen (5/13/16)