The Problem with Pollution: Lockie Leonard Scumbuster

Lockie Leonard Scumbuster, the play, by Garry Fry, adapted from the novel, by Tim Winton, is a light-hearted, quick read that includes interesting ideas and important morals. Suitable for all readers, this play, in my opinion, is both educational and entertaining.

The story follows the life of two best friends: Lockie and Egg. They first meet on the beach, after Lockie has had an embarrassing accident with his surfboard, and they then go to Egg’s house. Here they decide to take Egg’s kayak for a ride in the town’s harbour. When they arrive at the harbour, they see that it is filled with junk, dead birds, algae covering the surface of the water and an awful stench in the air. Due to Lockie’s love for the surf, he wants to find a way to clean their harbor, and takes Egg along for the ride.

Meanwhile, Lockie is still suffering from being dumped by his exx-girlfriend but falls in ‘love’ with Dot, Egg’s dad loses his job and might have to move, and the mayor doesn’t want to clean the harbour because he is greedy for money. In this sense, there are several layers of this play that are showed to the reader, making the book a lot more interesting to read.

Themes of friendship, love, and greed are illustrated in the book, but I believe the underlying message that is left with the reader when they finsih the book is that a problem with the environment causes problems with everyone’s lives. Before the pollution issue in the harbour is resolved, complications arise in some of the character’s lives; but when the issue is resolved, things start looking brighter.

I think Egg’s and Lockie’s determination to save their harbour is truly admirable as they held a meeting-which didn’t go as planned, began a protest, handed out pamphlets, and, most importantly, risked themselves getting in some very sticky business in order to send a message to phosphate companies. It was towards the end of the book that Lockie, Egg, Mrs Eggleston, and Vicki embark on Operation Constipation: Using Mrs Eggleston’s kayak, they paddle to the pipe that is letting the waste from the phosphate factories pour into the harbour. Mrs Eggleston then welds a piece of metal over the end of the pipe, which will result in a blocked-toilet effect. This, in my opinion, is a direct, effective and extremely strong way of telling the factories to clean up their act. It is also a very noble, martyred action, as they could have been caught in the action and this would have resulted in some serious consequences.

Throughout the book, you witness Egg’s problems with his family, Lockie breaking up with a girl and falling for another, the sly, deceiving ways of the mayor, and the lengths passionate people will go to, to fight for a cause. This means the readers can take want they want from the book –younger readers may enjoy the light-hearted humour, whereas older readers may be interested in environmental issues- and still enjoy the book. Thus making it an all-round loveable book with both educational and entertaining facets.Image

2 thoughts on “The Problem with Pollution: Lockie Leonard Scumbuster

  1. An insightful review. You discuss elements of the plot, the characters, themes, and the environmental message, with a clear, personal and persuasive voice. I think you may give away a little too much of the plot (remember a review shouldn’t tell us everything), but I can see your purpose in that – you want to comment on the courage of Lockie’s actions, so had to explain what he did. A few little typos (have a close read), but overall this is a thoughtful and effective review.

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