Boy A by Jonathan Trigell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I wish I could find a way to adequately convey my love for this book without sounding like a gushing groupie. But, I can't, so I'll soldier on with my groupie flag flying.
What can I say other than this book is amazing. I can't begin to say how amazing it is in a short review, and I'm a fair hand at wordplay. I'll do my inadequate best.
Trigell takes the story of Jack, a newly-released-from prison, twenty-something convicted child murderer--as in, he was a child when convicted of murder (the victim was also a child) and makes you wallow in it. He takes you into the mind of Jack and makes you love him. He takes you to the slimy, dark, gritty underbelly of English society and makes you lie on your back and lick it. You can't help but do what he wants as he weaves the story through the minds of various characters, crafting a perfectly plotted, perfectly paced, perfectly terrible story of attempted redemption. As you slough along towards the inevitable conclusion, you know what's coming, but you breathlessly keep reading, wanting to look away but utterly unable. Such is the hypnotic control Trigell masters in this artfully honed masterpiece of suspense. As difficult as it must be to create such tension in a book where from the start you know almost without doubt of the story's outcome, Trigell does it, and does it well.
Although his writing style is more gritty than poetic, Trigell can turn a phrase with beauty and almost magical precision. I can't count the number of times I had to stop and savor a sentence and wish ardently that I could weave words together with such breathtaking rightness. Because each of these sentences shows craft and a kind of heartrending accuracy. You find yourself thinking simultaneously that you'd never think to put words together in that way and that it's the exact way they were created to fit together.
In short, from the first words this book grabs you by the throat like a vicious, one-eyed mangy dog with oozing pustules and shakes you senseless until the last breathtaking sentence.
Although I can't recommend it to everyone due to its graphic nature, I wish I could.
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