John King Human Punk

ISBN 13: 9780099283164

Human Punk

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9780099283164: Human Punk

For fifteen-year-old Martin, growing up in Slough, the summer of 1977 means punk rock, reggae music, disco girls, stolen cars, social-club lager, cut-throat Teds and a job picking cherries with the gypsies. Life is sweet - until he is beaten up and thrown in the Grand Union Canal with his best mate Smiles.

Fast forward to 1988, and Joe is traveling home on the Trans-Siberian express after three years working in a Hong Kong bar, remembering the highs and lows of the intervening years as he comes to terms with catastrophe.

Fast forward to 2000, and Joe is sitting pretty - earning a living as a DJ, selling records and fight tickets. Life is sweet again - until a face from the past forces him to re-live that night in 1977 and deal with the fall-out.

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Review:

In Human Punk, the coming-of-age tale of a Thames valley likely lad, John King yet again delivers an unflinching, frank insight into British male working-class culture. King's best-known previous novels, The Football Factory and England Away, centred on the brutal subject of soccer hooliganism--of the domestic and export variety.

The antihero of Human Punk is Joe Martin: poor white trash from the council estates of Slough. In the novel's first third, set at the "arse-end of the 70s", Joe is a teenage no-hoper into cheap booze and cheaper girls. He's also into the new punk music that has finally percolated down to the Middlesex hinterlands.

King captures Joe's humble yet never-to-be-forgotten adolescent excitements--"the tingle of the cider" and the "smell of Bev's perfume banging into me"--with such empathy and verve that, in its praise, you can't help sensing the autobiographer at work rather than the novelist.

Unfortunately, the following sections of the novel aren't as telling. First it flashes forward to the late 1980s, when Joe is a backpacker returning to Blighty, as the prodigal son, on the Trans-Siberian railway; then it moves on to glitzy New Labour London of the millennium, where Joe is a moneymaking DJ. Throughout it all Joe broods on a childhood incident when a friend was nearly drowned, and the solving of this "puzzle"--his pal's fate--is what provides the book with its denouement. However, these later sections fail to grip the reader as it is difficult to afford the older, harder Joe the same sympathy one gave his youthful incarnation, and without such identification the whole book lacks psychological Semtex.

Fans of King's bleak, staccato, first-person narratives will not be disappointed by his now familiar but explosive insights into the male psyche.--Sean Thomas

Review:

"In its ambition and exuberance, Human Punk is a league ahead of much contemporary English fiction" (New Statesman)

"King's eye for detail is as sharp as his characters' tongues, and his creations are eminently three-dimensional: insightful and funny one minute, bigoted and ******-up the next" (The Face)

"Unique and brutal fiction...King is a master of idiom and street slang" (The Times)

"King's most accomplished and compelling story to date" (Esquire)

"Evokes the punk era superbly" (Independent on Sunday)

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John King
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. For fifteen-year-old Martin, growing up in Slough, the summer of 1977 means punk rock, reggae music, disco girls, stolen cars, social-club lager, cut-throat Teds and a job picking cherries with the gypsies. Life is sweet - until he is beaten up and thrown in the Grand Union Canal with his best mate Smiles. Fast forward to 1988, and Joe is traveling home on the Trans-Siberian express after three years working in a Hong Kong bar, remembering the highs and lows of the intervening years as he comes to terms with catastrophe. Fast forward to 2000, and Joe is sitting pretty - earning a living as a DJ, selling records and fight tickets. Life is sweet again - until a face from the past forces him to re-live that night in 1977 and deal with the fall-out. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099283164

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. For fifteen-year-old Martin, growing up in Slough, the summer of 1977 means punk rock, reggae music, disco girls, stolen cars, social-club lager, cut-throat Teds and a job picking cherries with the gypsies. Life is sweet - until he is beaten up and thrown in the Grand Union Canal with his best mate Smiles. Fast forward to 1988, and Joe is traveling home on the Trans-Siberian express after three years working in a Hong Kong bar, remembering the highs and lows of the intervening years as he comes to terms with catastrophe. Fast forward to 2000, and Joe is sitting pretty - earning a living as a DJ, selling records and fight tickets. Life is sweet again - until a face from the past forces him to re-live that night in 1977 and deal with the fall-out. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099283164

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. For Joe, the summer of 1977 meant punk rock, fun and violence. Fast forward to 1988 and Joe is on the Trans-Siberian express coming to terms with his best mate's suicide back in 1977. In the present, Joe still has to come to terms with Smiles's death. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 132 x 22. Weight in Grams: 252. . 2001. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099283164

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Book Description Vintage, 2001. Book Condition: New. For Joe, the summer of 1977 meant punk rock, fun and violence. Fast forward to 1988 and Joe is on the Trans-Siberian express coming to terms with his best mate's suicide back in 1977. In the present, Joe still has to come to terms with Smiles's death. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 132 x 22. Weight in Grams: 252. . 2001. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099283164

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Human Punk, John King, For fifteen-year-old Martin, growing up in Slough, the summer of 1977 means punk rock, reggae music, disco girls, stolen cars, social-club lager, cut-throat Teds and a job picking cherries with the gypsies. Life is sweet - until he is beaten up and thrown in the Grand Union Canal with his best mate Smiles. Fast forward to 1988, and Joe is traveling home on the Trans-Siberian express after three years working in a Hong Kong bar, remembering the highs and lows of the intervening years as he comes to terms with catastrophe. Fast forward to 2000, and Joe is sitting pretty - earning a living as a DJ, selling records and fight tickets. Life is sweet again - until a face from the past forces him to re-live that night in 1977 and deal with the fall-out. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099283164

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