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Alice and the Fly

by James Rice

This haunting tale tells of schoolboy Greg Hall’s fight with schizophrenia. The mature plotline deals with a sensitive issue in a manner that makes the reader sit up and pay attention. Sad, uplifting, and disturbing in equal measure, I defy anyone not to feel empathy for the lonely boy struggling with his inner demons. I was caught in Greg’s unpredictable narrative web, with this character rendering me silent long after the book’s end.

Extract

Today was one of my bad days. One of my neck-rubbing collar-brushing goose-pimpling web-tickling shaking kind of days. One of those days when every time I close my eyes – every time I even blink – I see Them, hundreds of Them, massing in my head. At lunch I couldn’t sit still. I kept jumping up every time my hair brushed my neck and the scraping of my chair kept waking Miss Eleanor and she kept shushing me with that big librarian finger of hers. In the end I had to go down to the toilets and sit in a cubicle in my balled-up position and stare at the wall. I had to picture your face. I knew that, if I saw you, everything would be OK.

Parallels

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
 

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