Summer - Seventeenth Summer

Seventeenth Summer

Summary: Then story is about Patrick Pennington´s seventeenth summer .But the story begins already in his schooltime and you can see under which conditions he must live. He has a bad situation at home and most teacher try to ignore him expect the P.E. and music teacher because he is very good at sports and he has the gift of music. He wasn´t stupid ,he was just lazy and that caused his bad marks and the most teachers hated his long hair. As if it wasn´t enough he has also pupils as enemies like Smeeton and his friends but he has also a friend called Bates who is also very good at singing. So the often played alone and drunk by the wharf.

One evening as they did so Smeeton came along in a dinghy and Penn wanted to harm him so he wanted to capsize the boat .And he did so but two wharfmen wanted him to go away .Later Penn let the air out of the tyres of a Jaguar but maybe Smeeton took revenge and sprayed an undescribed word with four letters onto it´s side .Next day he was made responsible for that incident and they sent the bill to his father. That made the situation worse and although he had denied everything nobody believed him. So the next time he saw him in the café they had a fight.where Smeeton cut his lip with a piece of glass, and because he had started it he got into trouble with the police but he was lucky and got released. Of course he was happy and by his dance through the streets he came to a café and after a short conversation he got himself a job. After some cleanings he played the piano in the corner but he wasn´t allowed to play there all the time because he was underage .But he was advised to look for the folk singing group who were in ealier days at the café. So he and Bates joined them one evening and there he met that wonderful young girl called Sylvia. He was in love with her since he saw her the first time .

Smeeton continued their feud in locking up Bates and Penn in an attic of an old house near the sea so that he couldn´t play at the school concert. But Penn waited for high water and then he jumped about 15 meters distance and 6 meter height onto the water and he survived it.Quickly they ran to Penn´s house and because they were under time pressure Penn rode his father´s motorbike without licence ,underage and far too fast. But both played well and Bates even got self esteem because the audience fancied Bates´ show. So from now on he could sing without the desire of being drunk for more courage. But someone had seen Penn riding the bike and so Mitchell ,the new police officer who didn´t like him much(prejudice) ,reported him about the way he got to school and the jump out of the door. A few days later he even did it once more for him . Of course he lied by saying that his father drove him. At home again he met the violent sites of his father because he hit or kicked him for tacking his motorbike. Next day Penn fixed up the Bates´ testimony and Bates told him about a folk festival on the same date as the piano contest was and so he had to make the hard decision wether he meets Sylvia at the festival or he goes to the contest for which he had practised so long and he decided himself for Sylvia but that meant to let Crocker down. But although he told him. Their discussion was ended by the suggestion for Penn to spectate the swimming gala and he even was told to swim the last most important term and he won. Afterwards Maxwell ,the sports teacher, had an important conversation with him and that caused that Penn cut his hair because both wanted to calm the situation down. But it didn´t calm down it even got worse because Soggy divulged Penn to Mitchell and so he had to stay away from school and his own home .The next day was the day of the concert and the festival ,but Penn decided that he wanted to play in the contest. But they met Crocker´s wife who told them that he had disappeared so Bates and Penn took Matilda and drove looking for him on the sea.They found him in a bad condition because he had had a heart attack. Bates drove him back in the dinghy and Penn wanted to repair the engine of Matilda but it had no more petrol so he had to swim. At the wharf he borrowed new clothes and ran over to Moorham for the contest. He was lucky that they let him play because he was far too late. But he played better than ever and so he even won the competition. To his surprise Sylvia watched him playing and invited him to come with her. There he was asked to play the piano and he liked it the first time so much that he played nearly the whole night. But suddenly he wanted to tell Crocker about his success and ran to the hospital at night. But he couldn´t visit him so he slept in an ambulance car. The ambulance even drove him home where ha met a stranger who was a well-known piano teacher .Penn was asked to play some accords and that convinced the stranger that he wanted Penn to study with him. He came because he was the person who lived next to Sylvia and so he had to listen to him last night .Professor Hampton even convinced officer West to let Penn come away with his crime then Penn got a scholarship in London and everything was good again.                                    


Patrick Pennington (Penn): He is the main character of the story but you can see a change of his character through his adventures .In the beginning he is a rough, stubborn and lazy person but then he is helpful (Mr.Crocker), even in love with Sylvia and he wants to make the best of his life (scholarship).

Soggy(Mr.Marsh): He is a cruel and old mannered person who hates Penn for his behaviour at school so he wants to it to make it as hard as possible for Penn(prohibition of sports for Penn).

Bates: He is Penn´s best friend and he has also the gift of singing .He also changes because first he has no self-esteem so he must be drunk when he is wanted to sing in front of strangers ,but then he recognized that he sing so well that people wouldn´t laugh about him.(concert) .

Mr.Pennington: He is like Penn himself because when he is very fed up he gets violent and so he has a very strange relationship with his father (incident with the motorbike) .

Themes:         *juvenile delinquency the escape of the police

*corporal punishment


*how to handle with a musical gift

*problems are easily solved by famous people

My personal opinion: To my mind was the book very good to read because the themes were very interesting and the vocabulary often explained itself through the text. And it was also very interesting for me what Penn would do with his talent but it was also clear that everything was going to be good again because the book wouldn´t be so famous when he would be send to prision or he became lorry driver. 

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