No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Barry Hines was born near Barnsley, Yorkshire, in 1939 and was a promising footballer before taking a teaching qualification at Loughborough. He taught PE in London and in Yorkshire before writing full time. He has written nine novels, and co-wrote the screenplay of Kes with Ken Loach. He lives in Yorkshire.
The classic book that inspired Kes, the famous film, now published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Barry Hines's A Kestrel for a Knave was published in 1968, and was made into one of the key British films of the sixties. Billy Casper is beaten by his drunken brother, ignored by his mother and failing at school. He seems destined for a hard, miserable life down the pits, but for a brief time, he finds one pleasure in life: a wild kestrel that he has raised and tamed himself.
A new adaptation of the classic book A Kestrel for a Knave, Kes tells the story of a day in the life of Billy Casper; a 15-year-old boy about to leave school and determined not to end up working down the pit like his older brother Jud. Billy doesn't know what he'll do, but one thing has changed his life forever, allowing him to soar above the narrow confines of his family and this town, his kestrel hawk, Kes. Kes is the story of Billy's heart. How it came to beat and how it came to break. The play was commissioned by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company.
Splendid new version (The Times) of the well-known film and novel--a bestseller for over thirty years.
With prose that is every bit as raw, intense and bitingly honest as the world it depicts, Barry Hines's A Kestrel for a Knave contains a new afterword by the author in Penguin Modern Classics. Life is tough and cheerless for Billy Casper, a troubled teenager growing up in the small Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley. Treated as a failure at school, and unhappy at home, Billy discovers a new passion in life when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk. Billy identifies with her silent strength and she inspires in him the trust and love that nothing else can, discovering through her the passion missing from his life. Barry Hines's acclaimed novel continues to reach new generations of teenagers and adults with its powerful story of survival in a tough, joyless world. Ken Loach's renowned film adaptation, Kes, has achieved cult status and in his new afterword Barry Hines discusses his work to adapt the novel into a screenplay, and reappraises the legacy of a book that has become a popular classic. Barry Hines (b. 1939) was born in the mining village of Hoyland Common, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Leaving Ecclesfield Grammar School without any qualifications, Hines worked as an apprentice mining surveyor for the National Coal Board before entering Loughborough Training College to study Physical Education. Working as a teacher in Hoyland Common, he wrote novels in the school library after work, later turning to writing full-time. If you enjoyed A Kestrel for a Knave, you might like The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories by Jack London, published in Penguin Classics.
Billy Casper is a boy with nowhere to go and nothing to say; part of the limbo generation of school leavers too old for lessons and too young to know anything about the outside world. He hates and is hated. His family and friends are mean and tough and they're sure he's going to end up in big trouble. But Billy knows two things about his own world. He'll never work down the mines and he does know about animals. His only companion is his kestrel hawk, trained from the nest, and, like himself, trained but not tamed, with the will to destroy or to be destroyed. This in not just another book about growing up in the north - it's as real as a slap in the face to those who think that orange juice and comprehensive schools have taken the meanness out of life in the raw working towns.