Now a major film, ‘Broken’ introduces you to the Oswalds – crass, cruel and seemingly untouchable. Until they go one step too far – and an entire community is torn apart.
Skunk Cunningham is a normal little girl, who nags her dad about smoking and always thrashes him on the X-box. She’s being bullied by the Oswald girls who live next-door. And she has a crush on Mike, the au pair’s boyfriend, who also happens to be her new teacher at school.
But then one day Skunk watches Bob Oswald beat friendless teenager Rick Buckley to a bloody pulp, and life on Drummond Square is never the same again.
Now a major film – winner of 'Best British Independent Film' and 'Best Supporting Actor' for Rory Kinnear at the British Independent Film Awards 2012 – Broken is Skunk’s attempt to withstand a world intent on breaking all she holds precious, as her neighbourhood struggles to rebound from this brutal act of cruelty.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
About the Author ~ Daniel Clay
Daniel Clay is thirty seven years old and married with no children. He lives in Hampshire in the UK.
Exclusive Amazon.co.uk Interview with Daniel Clay
What is Broken. A Novel about?
Part narrated by Skunk Cunningham, an eleven-year-old girl in a coma, Broken. A Novel tells the intertwining stories of three families who live in a suburban square in the south of England. The Oswalds – Bob and his five daughters – are the neighbors from hell. They lie, steal, cheat, bully and intimidate anyone unlucky enough to be anywhere near them, including Rick Buckley, a geeky but harmless nineteen-year-old boy who lives with his mum and dad on the other side of the square. Humiliated publicly by the Oswalds in the early stages of the novel, Rick descends into madness and becomes the Broken of the title. Skunk, her brother Jed and their new friend Dillon become fascinated with what’s happened to Broken which, in turn, leads to Skunk ending up in the coma from which she narrates the story.
What inspired you to write it?
My starting point were the family structures in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and how much society has changed in the eighty or so years since the events depicted in that novel took place. Once I had that starting point, I wanted to write about life as I saw it at the time I was writing – mad and cruel and random, yet always capable of surprising you, and always somehow worthwhile.
Who are your literary influences?
As a teenager, James Herbert and Stephen King were huge influences because they created characters I believed in and cared about. Since then, I’ve tended to love individual novels rather than particular authors. Orwell’s 1984 , Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest , Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time , and Kem Nunn’s Tapping The Source are all novels I’ve now read several times (and wish I had written).
If you could recommend just one "must-read book" to anyone, what would it be and why?
Clive Barker’s Weaveworld . The same as the Harry Potter series, it has that knack of layering the fantastical over everyday life, but it’s darker and sexier and tinged with more horror as well. A magical read.
What top tips do you have for anyone looking to write their first book?
Write for the thrill of it and write for yourself. Try to surprise yourself. Try to shock yourself. Never try to write something that doesn’t excite you right from the outset. Never try to write what you think an editor or agent wants you to write. Think about how you can grab a reader’s attention and then not let them put your work down. Look at the writers who do this to you and compare their style to your style. Try to understand why they’re different. Try to do something about it. Read as widely as you can. Polish as hard as you can. And, most of all, have fun, enjoy yourself, challenge yourself, and never let the rejections stop you from writing.
Reviews for Broken. A Novel
We are not the only ones to love this book. Check out a selection of reviews below. As you can see a lot of the reviews have been written by our own Amazon customers. These are reviewers from our Amazon Vine programme. Scroll down to the customer review section to see all of the reviews submitted.
Bold, prescient, engaging, and oddly touching. Guardian
A stunning first book … I’d be amazed if it doesn't get short-listed at awards time. Murray, Amazon Vine top reviewer
Daniel Clay has managed to weave a tale that simultaneously highlights some of the more disturbing aspects of contemporary British society whilst capturing some of the sweet innocence of a child’s mind... gripping. H. Pierce, Amazon Vine top reviewer
Reminiscent of Angela's Ashes set in the present day – there is humour and warmth, and a surprisingly upbeat, satisfying ending. I think this is probably the best new fiction I have read in the last year. P. M. Fernandez, Amazon Vine top reviewer
This book grabbed me and I could not put it down… It will make you laugh, cry and gasp with horror. Kehs, Amazon Vine top reviewer
Beautifully written … I couldn't put the book down. It contains humour and is incredibly touching. I will certainly be looking out for Daniel Clay’s next book. Recommended to all. SM, Amazon Vine top reviewerReview:
"Daniel Clay's debut novel is remarkably controlled and disciplined as it depicts those who spiral out of control." (The Independent)
"There are many good things here: it's bold, prescient, engaging and oddly touching." (The Guardian)
"Colin Moody's chilling reading evokes the cruelties of the bullying Oswald family and the neighborhood and school they victimize. We see through the eyes of 11-year-old Skunk, who lies comatose in the hospital. Moody maximizes the tension as we wonder what led to her situation and then view a horrific string of events that begin as Skunk's teenage neighbor, 'Broken' Buckley, is tormented by the five Oswald sisters and beaten by their terrible deadbeat father. Skunk faces harassment in her class and questions her place, rights, and dreams in the world. You listen appalled, but addicted, held as captive to the audio as Skunk, her parents, teachers, and friends are to the Oswalds." (AudioFile Magazine)
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New! We ship daily Monday - Friday!. Bookseller Inventory # 1EY85D00B98D
Book Description Harper Perennial, 2008. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "This intense and intricate novel charts the fascinating, often frightening lives of three families in suburban Britain. Daniel Clay shows a masterful empathy for his characters, while never shying from their frailties and agonies. BROKEN is surprising, shocking, and cruelly funny at times. It's an unforgettable book.". Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0061561045
Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800615610470000000
Book Description Harpercollins, 2008. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VC-9780061561047
Book Description Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0061561045
Book Description PERENNIAL, 2008. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days.THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IP-9780061561047
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Item doesn't include CD/DVD. Bookseller Inventory # 954174
Book Description HARPER PERENNIAL, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Until that fateful afternoon, Skunk Cunningham had been a normal little girl, playing on the curb in front of her house. Rick Buck-ley had been a normal geeky teen-ager, hosing off his brand-new car. Bob Oswald had been a normal sociopathic single father of five slutty daughters, charging furiously down the side-walk. Then Bob was beating Rick to a bloody pulp, right there in the Buckleys driveway, and life on Drummond Square was never the same again.Inspired by Harper Lee s classic To Kill a Mockingbird, Clay s brilliantly observed and darkly funny novel follows the sudden unraveling of a sub-urban community after a single act of thoughtless cruelty. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780061561047
Book Description HARPER PERENNIAL, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Until that fateful afternoon, Skunk Cunningham had been a normal little girl, playing on the curb in front of her house. Rick Buck-ley had been a normal geeky teen-ager, hosing off his brand-new car. Bob Oswald had been a normal sociopathic single father of five slutty daughters, charging furiously down the side-walk. Then Bob was beating Rick to a bloody pulp, right there in the Buckleys driveway, and life on Drummond Square was never the same again.Inspired by Harper Lee s classic To Kill a Mockingbird, Clay s brilliantly observed and darkly funny novel follows the sudden unraveling of a sub-urban community after a single act of thoughtless cruelty. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780061561047
Book Description Harper Perennial 2008-09, 2008. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatched within 2 working days from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-ING-00141900