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This is the Country

by William Wall

The unnamed teenage narrator seems to have little chance in the world, and when he gets drug dealer Pat Baker's favourite sister pregnant all seems lost. This book is certainly grim in places but it is also about the power of love and hope as he strives to build a decent life. Alternately gritty and lyrical this is a deeply moving read.

Extract

Later there's a 'Crimeline' special and I'm surprised to see all the old places are justly famous. They tell me that a certain acquaintance of mine was stabbed to death. The crime took place in full view of the CCTV on the side of the street. The shades were looking down from thirty feet up like God. They never trouble themselves. They pick up the pieces afterwards. I saw threads of blood on my hand one day and I wondered if God plans the colour of blood and the colour of skin and the shape. I thought about this acquaintance lying on the street with God's square eye watching him bleed to death. Did he think it was the end of the world or just his own single death.

Parallels

Cal by Bernard MacLaverty
Resurrection Man by Eoin McNamee
 

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