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Cancer Party Paperback – 1 Aug 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Cargo Publishing; 1st Edition edition (1 Aug. 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0956308309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956308306
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 1.7 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,627,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Much in common with Irvine Welsh." --The Scottish Review of Books

"molotov cocktail in the face of Scottish literature" --Scottish Literary Voice

"a well realised novel with a nice sense of place and some great set pieces..promising for the future of Cargo." --The Skinny

About the Author

Andrew Raymond Drennan is an author from Paisley, Scotland. This is his first novel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Cancer Party is a novel far more complex than it would appear from a cursory glance at the surrounding criticism. Although Drennan's scathing portraits and bleak landscapes are astonishingly well-rendered features of the narrative, the temptation on the part of the reader to focus solely on these would be to miss out on much of the pathos, not to mention the humour.
Adam's movement through the narrative takes in a startling array of set-ups and circumstances ranging from the bleakly grotesque to the beautifully frayed. These episodes benefit from an attention to detail reminiscent of Dos Passos; a sly wit tinged with echoes of Will Self; and a knack for the exploding, expanding imagery of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The satire bites down and grabs hold, certainly, but the inner workings of Drennan's protagonist are never too far from the seam of the story. Such humanity, even tenderness, is so rarely well-executed (or even attempted) in satire, which makes Drennan's debut a rare find.
Although the novel's setting in Glasgow 1997 propels many of the narrative concerns, as does the protagonist's tender age of seventeen, viewing such specifics as a limit to an understanding or identification would be reductive in the extreme. Themes of loss, loneliness, desperation, desolation, addiction, difficult social groups, thankless jobs, the search for love and a wrangling with identity are universal to all. That Drennan's novel touches on all of these and more, upon a finely-wrought framework of a destitution we can all recognize, makes for a remarkable, if merciless, read. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Cancer Party is bleak, it pushes you into a deep dark little hole and is unrelenting in the detailing of the worst attributes people can display. You'll love it. If you read it you may mistake Drennan for in some way condoning the self destructive tendencies his characters undertake and romanticising their nihilistic tendencies, but don't fall into that trap. Clearly based in part on the author's own experiences with bereavement and attempting to make some sense of it, the main character of Adam tries to come to terms with the death of his mother, his disassociation with his father and his own collapsing life, surrounded by those who wish to bring him down further for kicks. Set in the post New Labour victory of 1997 and the air of "Things Can Only Get Better", Cancer Party shows that sometimes they really can't, but you can still try to make sense of it. The line between reality and fiction blurs at times and the author sometimes refers to himself, due to the personal nature of the piece. A first novel, it's raw and punchy, and definitely worth a look.
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By C. buckland on 20 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hard hitting, dark, but really funny in places. I love satire and this is one of the best pieces of modern satire I've read!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Martin-Kelly on 7 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
A few debut novels have tried to facsimile the terrible stranglehold teenage gang warfare has on it's individuals and society. With the beautifully dank backdrop of Blair-era Britain, we are given a journey through the bleakly hopeless life of Adam, a young man promised everything by his government and his upbringing, only to seek solace in the drug-and-booze-feulled reckless abandon of a teenage gang. Full of exuberant youthful wit and idiocy that surpasses the efforts of Bret Easton Ellis and Nick McDonell, we are taken on the fag-ash laced journey of a group of kids who are going nowhere and naively accepting every bruised and drunken minute of it. With the political backdrop never detracting from the drama, Cancer Party depicts fearlessly a quite British take on lonlieness and reckless abandon that is seldom explored.
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