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William Sutcliffe was born in 1971 in London. He is the author of the novels, New Boy, Are You Experienced? and The Love Hexagon, and has been translated into eleven languages.
“I am normal. I like being normal”. Such is the mantra of fifteen-year-old Sam. But when he’s uprooted from his Stevenage comp and thrust into the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented being normal just doesn’t cut it. Simple as. No ifs or buts. To fit in at this “poncey arty farty school” for “Exactly the Kind of People [Sam] Instinctively Hated”, a person needs to stand out. Gel one’s hair in eight directions. Be the offspring of, for example, an Argentinian tango dancer, or a French electro-pop pioneer. The comic characterisation of Sam and his family is as impeccably tuned as a Primrose Hill piano, from his mum’s foray into Hampstead yummy mummy blogger-dom, to his unicorn-obsessed little sister. Sam’s hilariously honest, self-deprecating tone is utterly engaging and put me in mind of an older incarnation of Luke from David Solomons’s fabulously funny Superhero books. Talking of funny, Sam’s turning point turns out to be his talent for comedy (“making people laugh was a thrilling buzz”), and so he finds himself in the unlikely position of performing in the school play. This entertaining romp around pressures to fit in and teenage boy-dom in all its involuntary undercarriage-twitching awkwardness truly shows the diverse talent of its author, whose previous YA novels are every bit as brilliant, but have heavier themes. This is a laugh-out-loud witty wonder of a book.
Set in a near-future version of London, where a drug called Concentr8 has been extensively prescribed to young people diagnosed with ADHD, this is the brilliantly provocative second young adult novel from the bestselling author of Are You Experienced? and New Boy. Against a backdrop of rioting in the capital, a group of socially disaffected friends, led by angry, charismatic Blaze, pull a knife on a man as he leaves work at the Mayor’s office. While the friends wonder why they’ve taken someone hostage, an ambitious journalist investigates whether the withdrawal of Concentr8 might have triggered the rioting. A political scandal unfolds when it emerges that not everyone was medically assessed before being put on the pacifying drug, suggesting that something far more sinister is going on. Told through several authentic first person narratives, and interspersed with revealing excerpts from medical reports, sociological texts and tweets, this gripping, politically-charged novel explores the big issue of how young people get lost and failed by society, and why they might turn to criminal and anti-social behaviour. A fast-paced, thought-provoking rollercoaster of a read. ~ Joanne Owen
This is the sort of book that sends shivers down your spine so disturbing is it. It tells of a wall that divides a city, the Jews on one side, the Arabs on the other. A 13-year old boy discovers a tunnel under the wall and cannot resist exploring. Once should be enough but he returns three times and my heart was in my mouth each time. This is powerful stuff, a wonderful and important book that should be read by all. Julia Eccleshare's View..... A moving and thought-provoking story which will encourage readers to question divisions in society. Joshua lives safely on one side of the Wall. When he finds a tunnel under the Wall he can’t help wanting to explore. Meeting a family on the other side reveals to him what the Wall hides and makes him question all he has previously been told. Joshua learns the enormity of living under repression as well as what kindness, despite its attendant dangers, really means. He also learns how nature can heal other ills as he sets out on his own journey of discovery. ........... The Wall is a novel about a boy who undertakes a short journey to another world, to a place where everything he knows about loyalty, identity and justice is turned upside down. It is also a political fable that powerfully evokes the realities of life on the West Bank, telling the story of a Settler child who finds there are two sides to every story.
A novel of peer pressure and the horrors of being 10, or wanting to fit in and not knowing how to stop. Frightening.Comparison: Michael Fraynâ€™s Spies, Jonathan Coeâ€™s The Rottersâ€™ Club, William Goldingâ€™s Lord of the Flies.Similar this month: William Nicholson, Jonathan Tropper.
Joshua is thirteen. He lives with his mother and stepfather in Amarias, an isolated town on top of a hill, where all the houses are brand new. At the edge of Amarias is a high wall, guarded by soldiers, which can only be crossed through a heavily fortified checkpoint. Joshua has been taught that beyond the concrete is a brutal and unforgiving enemy, and that The Wall is the only thing keeping him and his people safe. One day, looking for a lost football, Joshua stumbles across a tunnel which leads towards this forbidden territory. He knows he won't get another opportunity to see what is beyond The Wall until he's old enough for military service, and the chance to crawl through and solve the mystery is too tempting to resist. He's heard plenty of stories about the other side, but nothing has prepared him for what he finds... The Wall is a novel about a boy who undertakes a short journey to another world, to a place where everything he knows about loyalty, identity and justice is turned upside down. It is also a political fable that powerfully evokes the realities of life on the West Bank, telling the story of a Settler child who finds there are two sides to every story.
Matt, Daniel and Paul were childhood friends. Now in their thirties, they've lost touch and have only one thing in common: their mothers. Little do they know that, having spent a cardless Mother's Day discussing how their emotionally dysfunctional offspring should be settling down, Carol, Gillian and Helen have decided to pay their wayward sons a visit. On the same day, they turn up on their sons' doorsteps, uninvited and unannounced. Their plan is to reestablish the mother-son bond by moving in for one week. Just a week. Surely that's not a lot to ask
NEW BOY is a dark modern comedy about the hormonal angst of a Jewish lad growing up in north-west London's bagel belt. Sutcliffe has managed to pull off a worthy British companion to Portnoy's Complaint Jay Rayner,Observer Well-written,clever and very funny Literary Review Smart,entertaining stuff...somewhere between Adrian Mole and Holden Caulfield Philip Hensher,Mail on Sunday
A devastatingly funny satire on the whole idea of student travel,and particularly the India back-pack trail. Dave travels to India with Liz because he thinks he might be able to get her into bed. Liz travels to India with Dave because she wants a companion for her voyage of spiritual discovery. She loves it. He dreams of frosty mornings, pints of lager and restaurants where vegetable curry is only a side-dish...