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Kane's Ladder

by Carlos Alba

A ribald look at life in 1970’s Glasgow from the viewpoint of a 10 year old living in an 'upwardly mobile' housing development. Infectious humour in an adult voice is peppered with movie references as young Steven experiences growing pains and wonders just what secrets his family are keeping from him. The author focuses on making the reader laugh until they cry but still manages to include a slice of sharp reality.

Extract

When I arrived, the match was in full swing, so I dumped my blazer on the ground, alongside a pile of others that marked out one of the goalposts, and I took to the field. I'd been playing for about five minutes when the game was halted abruptly because it was noticed that I kept passing the ball to the Papes.
What the hell are you doing? demanded Billy Kemp.
I'm playing for the Papes
Why?
Because I'm a Catholic
By this time a large group had gathered around us and I was starting to wish I had chosen a less public forum to declare my sudden religious conversion.
Why do you go to a Prod school if you are a Pape? he asked.
My ma's a Prod but my Da's a Pape. He knows all the words and everything.
There followed a collective, cacophonous murmur as everyone considered the implications of such a statement. His ma's a Prod but his da's a Pape. How could this be so? No-one had heard the like. After half a minute of rumination, it was denounced as a mutinous and seditious idea and decided, unanimously, that it couldn't be allowed to stand. Where would it all end, people asked. The issue was resolved when the Papes said they didn't want me in their team anyways because I was so shite.

Parallels

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
First Confession (My Oedipus Complex and Other Stories) by Frank O'Connor
East is East - the film
 

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