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Boy A Paperback – 25 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; Film Tie-in Ed edition (25 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846686628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846686627
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Trigell was born in Britain, but now lives in the France. He is the author of four thematically very different novels: Boy A; Cham; Genus; and The Tongues of Men or Angels.

Much acclaimed, Jonathan has won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, for the best book in the Commonwealth by an author under thirty five; the Waverton Award; the Italian Edoardo Kihlgren Prize; and the inaugural World Book Day Prize.

Jonathan's first novel Boy A was dramatized by Cuba Pictures, Film Four and The Weinstein Co. It was directed by John Crowly and starred Andrew Garfield and Peter Mullan. Among other prizes, it won four BAFTA Awards and the Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

Product Description

Review

Creepy and involving... From the beginning, Trigell weaves a sense of drama and a disturbing feeling of inevitability (Independent)

Trigell brilliantly depicts the pressures of living with a terrible secret... written with a naive clarity which evokes the unfamiliar wonders of the outside world (Guardian)

A challenging novel of atrocity and redemption... [A] fast-paced, thought provoking read, perhaps all the more significant for the questions it can't answer (Big Issue)

From the Publisher

"'Boy A' won the Waverton Award for best first novel of 2004; the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, for best book in the commonwealth by an author under 35; and The World Book Day Prize 2008 for the most discussion worthy novel by a living writer."

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First Sentence
He's seen noses broken over less: the fag butts on the pavement have been carelessly tossed, five drags left in them. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SJSmith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading `Boy A' as much as I enjoyed watching the film adaptation for television a number of years ago. It isn't a lengthy novel so it is never going to go into a massive amount of detail. There are reviews that I've read where people would like to see the book being about Boy B and I can see why as there would surely have been more meaty prose to write (a possible idea for a second novel?), however the information the author gives us about Boy A's involvement makes it more worthwhile for me. At the critical point he could have stopped but he didn't and whilst the crime isn't made explicit - well obviously it resulted in murder but the bit before the murder - the reader is left to wonder over sexual assault or even rape. Although during the recount aspect of the novel, Boy A continually states he wasn't involved it is left up to the reader to come to their own judgement.

It is certainly an easy book to read in terms of length and style and I loved the alphabetical chapter headings, fitted in well with the idea of Boy A and Boy B. Even though it is fiction there is the obvious impact real life events had on the ideas for the novel and for me this book gives you an insight into the thoughts about what goes on behind the scenes and how a new life is created for criminals who have served their sentence but need protection (and should they actually be given it but that is outside of the realms of a book review!). I found the relationship between Terry and Jack very interesting but wonder how much the boundaries between this professional relationship would come across in real life; he really did love Jack more than his own son.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By alb on 25 May 2004
Format: Paperback
I was very surprised to find that this is the first novel from Jonathan Trigell, Boy A is a very powerful & hard-hitting book, written in a very easy to read style and totally unputtdownable!
Boy A, or Jack as he is now called, is a young man released from prison after being locked up for most of his life. The book charts his release in to the real world and how he deals with everyday situations that we all take for granted. He also has to learn to cope with the aftermath of the horrific act that got him sentenced. One minute a monster, one minute a boy who just did something very bad when he was young, Jack really gets under your skin and causes you to think – what if?
Totally different to any other book that I have read recently it is also very refreshing to read a book where the ending did not disappoint! I can not recommend this enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
At long last, I've finally gotten around to reading Boy A. I really enjoyed the film adaptation of this novel some years ago and wanted to leave a good while before reading the book. I was prompted to pick it up by the fact that Daniel Clay's novel; 'Broken' is about to be adapted by the same director.

Boy A is one of those novels that will make you 'think'. Putting aside the sensationalist media reports about recent children who have killed, the reader can get a glimpse into what life could be like for someone who has been convicted of a very serious offence.

Powerful, gripping and of course, sparking controversy, but never trite, never overly emotional - hard-hitting and gripping writing.

Very highly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Victoria M. Willemse on 6 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
Reading the publisher's blurb gives you an idea of the plot but reading the book is something different. Boy A is "reborn" following a spell in various prison establishments and is let free. This is his story - but as we go through the chapters of the novel, each one starting with a letter of the alphabet, his backstory is revealed - it seems that Boy A can never escape his past, despite having done the time for his crime.

The reader is made to feel something of a voyeur - because the shame of Boy A (now called Jack) is so deep. There are indications that Boy A is in the same position as one of the killers of Jamie Bulger - of being described by the media as a monster who has done something unforgiveable and inhuman. The reader is put in the position, frequently, of the public. There are allusions to the publicity surrounding the crime in the tabloids, and the role of the media in Jack's life is fundamental to the plot: despite the theory of crime and punishment, it seems that there can be no redemption, and no new rebirth.

The author intends us to feel not only pity for the protagonist, but also to explain how he has come to be this way - exploring through the medium of the old case files and the history of Boy A how he has never received the love and attention that would have led him to grow up as a socially responsible member of society, and thus how Boy A has lacked the appropriate stimuli to develop properly. There is even the possibility that Boy A was the accomplice to the crime committed by the other boy, and that he was unaware of the extent of the crime caused. As a child he has been tried in an adult court, and both prior and post sentence, he has never really been cared for by adults. Only his cell mate and his probation officer have a link with him.
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