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Hoodie [Paperback]

Brendon Lancaster
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.95
Price: 14.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Dec 2009
From the moment Ben Chapman ( 'Hoodie' to the other Shady Boys) crashes out of school, determined never to return and, incidentally, seeking his revenge on the school's drug dealer by stealing and concealing his stash in his trousers on the way out, you know that this is a boy to whom caution and reticence are alien concepts. Outwardly, he maintains that all he wants is a job, his own money and to follow his heart towards the girl of his dreams, Isabelle. But, underneath that concealing hoodie, Ben has a rich inner life, fed by dope, wine and the belief that he is someone special. During his 'summer of love', we follow his attempts to engage with the real world with frustration and compassion. His adventures cause him to question today's competitive, consumer-based values, eventually challenging his perception of reality and prompting him to reflect upon who and what his purpose in life is before finding himself faced with the definitive test of resolve and bravery. Hoodie's blend of up-to-date realism, dream-like escapism, fast-paced, hard-hitting action, wistful musings, humour and tragedy, all while the story navigates its way on a magical mystery tour of Ben's mind, ensures an enjoyable read. It provides the perfect antidote to alarmist Daily Mail reporting of youth issues, exploring the problems facing modern day Britain from the perspective of a disempowered, disaffected teenager. On a deeper level, there is a moral/spiritual sub-text, fed by Ben's belief that he has a secret weapon; the simian lines (fused head and heart lines) on the palms of his hands. These are extremely rare and noted as being a genetic abnormality shared by drug addicts, mass murderers, scientific researchers and religious fanatics (and, by sheer coincidence, Tony Blair). Could these lines hold the key to his future?

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Authorhouse (28 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449027628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449027629
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 20 x 12.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,150,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brendon Lancaster lives in London. He grew up in the Paddington/Notting Hill area.

'Hoodie' is Brendon's first novel. His relatively newfound passion for writing reflects his long held desire (identified at an early age) to find a way of getting paid to daydream.

Brendon is keen to emphasise that 'Hoodie' is entirely fictional and any characters or events are purely the product of his imagination. He is proud, however, to admit to - like 'Hoodie' - having simian lines on both of his palms - a rare genetic abnormality shared by drug addicts, mass murderers, scientific researches and religious fanatics.

Brendon has shown no sign of possessing any of these traits. Yet.

Product Description

Review

'...a top novel...' --Paddington and Westminster Times, March 2010

'...a flare of teenage realism mixed with slang, palpable dialogue and interesting characters...' and 'Everyone will be able to relate to some aspect of the flawed personalities.' --Hot Gossip, Hot Reviews, February 2010

'...a compelling dialogue and impressive depth of character development...a slightly surreal rites-of-passage...I particularly enjoyed the boys' relationships with the girls, which felt suitably confused and hormonal.'
--H. Davis, Freelance Script Reader, October 2010

'Wow! What a read! This is a superb book with everything thrown into the melting pot! Romance, drugs, crime, teenage angst and social commentary are cleverly interwoven to produce a superb book. The reader will want to read it in one sitting.' -- Self Publishing Magazine, July 2011

About the Author

Brendon Lancaster lives in London, married with two daughters. He grew up in the Paddington/Notting Hill area. 'Hoodie' is Brendon's first novel. He was prompted to write it because after spending 25 years in steady, albeit moderately successful, civil service employment he felt it was time to stretch his creative potential. His relatively newfound passion for writing reflects his long held desire (identified at an early age) of finding a way of getting paid to daydream. He is currently working on a second novel. Brendon is keen to emphasise that 'Hoodie' is entirely fictional and any characters or events are purely the product of his imagination. He is proud, however, to admit to - like 'Hoodie' - having simian lines on both of his palms - a rare genetic abnormality shared by drug addicts, mass murderers, scientific researches and religious fanatics (and, by sheer coincidence, Tony Blair). Brendon has shown no sign of possessing any of these traits. Yet.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty Stuff! 26 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was recently entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Our readers thought the following:

STORY/STYLE - Of the 20 readers who read your book, 14 of them thoroughly enjoyed it. They described it as 'gritty' and often 'shocking' with a fantastic (and surprising) ending. They also enjoyed the London setting and the jargon of the characters. They felt your strongest point was the author's ability to work with dialogue.

'A gritty, coming-of-age novel, powerfully written by this talented, new author.' The Wishing Shelf Awards
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
About:
Reading Hoodie was both entertaining and difficult. Taking place in West London the summer after school lets out, the story centers on a group of boys, Ben, Mo, Luca and Dave. The boys call themselves the "Shady Boys" after Eminem's release of "The Real Slim Shady".
These kids hang out, drink and smoke pot; sometimes by themselves, sometimes with females. Ben a.k.a. Hoodie is just sixteen years old and is being raised by his mother. The Shady Boys attend Paddington Comprehensive school and unlike the rest of the group, Ben doesn't want to move onto sixth form, he wants to get a job now that school is out. He's never known his father who left when he was just three years old, but Ben keeps a worn photo of him in his bedside drawer.

In the midst of the drugs, booze and street fighting, are of course teenage hormones running rampant. Ben struggles with understanding girls and their mysterious behavior.
As the story flows, local homeless man Old Joe tries to give Ben sound advice but Ben and the boys seem to spiral further and further downhill. They even make the poor decision to steal and sell dope.

Ben finds a sort of comfort in wearing his hoodie and "hiding" underneath it.
"He pulled his hood over his head on the way out. He liked the sense of security it gave him, and the feel of its fleecy lining rubbing against the sides of his head. Even when the weather was warm, he preferred it up. It closed him off from the outside world and gave him the anonymity he sought, reflecting the detachment he so often felt from it. Just as he had grown up with Bayswater as his neighbourhood comfort zone, his hood had started to become his very own personal comfort zone within a comfort zone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frightening realistic 24 April 2012
By Ken
Format:Kindle Edition
I find it hard to articulate my thoughts for Hoodie because it is such a realistic portrayal of youths of today. Reviewing this story is like commenting on someone's life choices, you can say all you want but would you have done so differently if you were in his shoes? Hoodie may not suit everyone's tastes but it is a poignant story offering deep insights into the hardships that modern teenagers face.

Hoodie is essentially a coming of age story about a young man, Ben or better known as Hoodie and his misspent summer. Ben like most boys at the age of 15 turning 16 likes to hang out with his mates, have a few drinks and maybe smoke a little weed. He has just finished his GCSEs and thinks he is now ready to enter into a world filled with opportunities and achieve anything he sets his mind to, be it a job or a girl. Sadly the real world doesn't work like that and he faces one disappointment after another as the story progresses.

To make matters worse, a divide is appearing among his mates now that everyone has different goals in their lives. One wants to continue with his education while another wants to continue their business in wheeling and dealing drugs. What can Ben do to keep the group together?

Ben is not a bad kid, he is smart and sensitive. He is just missing a figure to guide him in the right direction. Coming from a broken family and lacking a father figure means he had to grow up much quicker than he was ready for.

Hoodie is an interesting story that I find a lot of resonance with. The writing is spot on for describing emotions such as the loneliness inside, where you can be in a room full of people you care the most yet still feel so alienated.

I think it's this frightening sense of vivid realness that put some people off this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoodie 29 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I honestly don't even know where to begin. There are so many aspects of Hoodie that I could talk about, but I really, really don't want to give a single detail away because it will ultimately subtract from the readers experience.

So, what can I say? Well, for one, Hoodie is a book that I found highly enjoyable. There are so many different things occurring that it's hard to point out just one tiny detail to focus on. We get to delve into Ben's inner psyche which is often philosophical, borderline looney, but completely insightful. Ben aka Hoodie is a lost sixteen year old boy who quite honestly has no idea what he wants from life or what to expect. He believes that he is ready to grow up and become his own man, but in reality, he is so not ready. His maturity fluctuates, he is intouch with his emotions, and he's lonely(even when he surrounds himself with the Shady Boys). I loved Ben as a character, he is the type of character that will constantly surprise and is surprisingly deep. I felt that Ben was adequately portrayed as a sixteen year old, his language, mannerisms and his deemed "superiority".

I found Hoodie to be profoundly realistic with issues that everyone, one time or another, experiences in their lives. Some issues are hard to ignore and others are more subtle, requiring a deeper look. Brendon Lancaster doesn't down-play any of them, as most are in your face demanding attention. As Ben's mind whirls around, the readers will as well.

Brendon Lancaster's writing had an easy flow that captivated my mind and attention. I felt completely immersed in London culture as the scenery was described with crystal clear precision and riddled with slang that may throw some American readers through a loop, but it adds to the authenticity, to the overall feel of the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots going on in this one
Ben aka Hoodie is the main character, he has just finished his exams and stolen a load of drugs from the school thug. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lainy
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This book should be assigned reading during the last year of middle school, as kids are about to be overwhelmed by teenage years in high school. Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2012 by V. Cano
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but Ben and me = no good match!
Ben, alias Hoodie, has finally passed his GCSE-exams and (according to him) will never go back to school.
Summer can start and he steals drugs from the local dealer Papa Tee. Read more
Published on 11 Feb 2012 by Boeklover
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Authentic
I am really struggling to know where to start the discussion about this book, as it stirred so many strong emotions that my allegiances and sympathies constantly shifted back and... Read more
Published on 26 Jan 2012 by Fiction Books
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoodie review
I must admit upon purchasing the book it took me a long time to actually turn a page. Maybe it was the glossy front cover, hardly wanting to a add a crease. Read more
Published on 9 Jan 2012 by The Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
Such an inspirational book about a boy who struggles through life with issues as friends, girlfriends, family and identity. Read more
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by Emma Brocklehurst
5.0 out of 5 stars IMPRESSIVE
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and could feel what must be the hearfelt sadness of a lot of teenage boys and girls. Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2011 by jean hassan
4.0 out of 5 stars AWEOME!
`Brendon Lancaster author of Hoodie has emerged out of London...well, first Paddington, then Fulham, then East London and now Palmers Green, North London. Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by Ami Blackwelder
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