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The War Zone [Hardcover]

Alexander Stuart


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Book Description

23 Mar 1989
Tackling an extremely taboo subject, The War Zone is a stark and uncompromising portrayal of incest. For 15-year-old Tom, the war zone is at the heart of his seemingly happy middle-class family. When his family moves from London to Devon, Tom finds his new life lonely and boring. But nothing can prepare him for the terrible secret that binds together his father and his 18-year-old sister Jessie. Isolated, confused and consumed with adolescent anger, Tom is determined to reveal the truth. Alexander Stuart's screenplay is based on his controversial novel, which was stripped of the Whitbread Award in 1989. First-time director Tim Roth, famous for his acting roles in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, has succeeded in bringing this shocking and deeply powerful story to the cinema screen. In his introduction to the book, Roth explains why he chose this unsettling story for his directorial debut and discusses his experiences of making the film.

" ... a formidable and very brave debut." --The Guardian

"Brilliant ... a stunning directorial debut ... a film that must be seen and debated." --The Daily Mail

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd; 1st edition (23 Mar 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241123429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241123423
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,177,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

In the introduction to Alexander Stuart's screen adaptation of his own highly controversial novel, director Tim Roth pinpoints the failure of most films that deal with the subject of incest: "Just at the point where they should have jumped into the deep end they'd pulled back." The War Zone could never be accused of retreating from its topic, offering a graphic and almost overwhelmingly bleak look at the life of a 15-year-old boy, haunted by what he sees one day through the bathroom window. Already feeling isolated after the family's move from London to Devon, Tom struggles to deal with the situation, blaming his sister as much as he does his father. It is a story fraught with despair and frank in its unsettling portrayal of human sexuality at its most destructive.

The screenplay is presented in an attractive format by Film Four, with a useful introduction by Tim Roth, who outlines some of the significant differences between the novel and the screenplay--and between the screenplay and the finished film. Tom's voiceover, for instance, seems out of place in the script and was rightly not used in the film; other changes removed a couple of particularly disturbing scenes between Tom and his sister. The published screenplay therefore provides a fascinating insight into the translation from novel to film, raising questions about the representation of sexual abuse on screen. Like the film itself, this is provocative material that deserves to be read and discussed. --John Oates --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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