In the tradition of THE CEMENT GARDEN and THE WASP FACTORY, this is a compelling and shocking journey into the dark heart of boyhood, as four boys play war games deep in the English countryside. With the death of one of the Gang (as they call themselves), the war games escalate, directed now against the adults they hold responsible for the loss of one of their soldiers. Like Toby Litt's previous novel CORPSING, DEADKIDSONGS is unputdownable, highly original and deeply thought-provoking.
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With his novels Corpsing and Beatniks, young Brit Lit gunslinger Toby Litt showed he had mastered the essentials of the trendy bestseller. With this poignant, odd, confusing, moving, heartfelt, troubling book he's tried to do an even trickier thing: extend his range and readership upmarket.
The tenor of deadkidsongs is Just William meets Lord of the Flies with a nod to the latter-day works of Nick Hornby, which gives you some idea of what a different-but interesting-book it is. The story concerns four pre-pubescent boys, all members of a gang called Gang, growing up in darkest Devon in the 70s. Against a background of Cold War rumours and Last War memories they play their conkers and cowboys an' injuns, their war and show-us-yer-willy games. Then their clumsy and wistfully innocent Arcadia is overturned when one of them dies; from there the narrative unravels until the reader is not sure who is telling what to whom, nor quite how reliable the teller might be.
To recapture a lost childhood is ambitious enough; Litt's aim is to do that and then some: he wants to say profound things about masculinity, nostalgia, violence and nationhood. Whether he succeeds or not is moot; anyone sincerely interested in the modern British novel will want to read this to decide for themselves. --Sean ThomasReview:
'Toby Litt has taken us back into the secret and brutal lair of childhood... wickedly, wittily scary' Observer
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Book Description 2001-10-04., 2001. Book Condition: New. Penguin. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 464pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1719411
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