Customer Reviews

62
4.5 out of 5 stars
A Kestrel for a Knave (Penguin Modern Classics)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£7.19+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2013
Bought as a present for a 12th birthday for a boy interested in birds of prey.
He was very happy with it and couldn't wait to get reading.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2000
This book shows the harsh and cruel life of a 15 year old boy in a neighbourhood where he is expected to go into crime. His only way of keeping out of the bad life is to find another hobby. He succeeds in this when he finds a kestrel and single-handedly trains it to perfection. This book is written in an amazing style be an amazing scriptwriter. Barry Hines captures the imagination with this brilliant book. Barry Hines is just the man to write this, him having come from a background like that of what Billy has in the book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 13 August 2013
took me back 35yrs when I studied this for O'level, great book about the time and place where I grew up, and tells it just as it was, and for those who think it is all fantasy never lived through these austere times in Yorkshire superbly and accurately by Barry Hines, now buy the film "Kes" which does the book every justice
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Barry Hines was born in 1939, in a mining village called Hoyland Common in the north of England. He worked as a teacher for several years, before becoming a full-time author and scriptwriter. He is probably best known for "A Kestrel for a Knave" - which was adapted for the big screen as "Kes".

The knave of the book's title is Billy Casper : a teenager who lives in a small Yorkshire mining village with his brother, Jud, and his mother. The family's life is far from idyllic : they live on a working-class housing estate, there isn't a lot of money to spare and not a lot of food in the house. Neither Billy nor Jud - who works down the mine - seem to be terribly impressed with their mother. However, while Billy is merely disobedient, Jud appears to be a good deal more caustic. (She doesn't appear to pay them much attention in return). Jud is a particularly dislikeable character - a selfish bully, who's quite happy to take his foul moods out on Billy.

Billy's in his last year at school, but things are there are little better. He's in the bottom class of his year group, and struggles to read and write. He has no idea what he wants to do when he leave, so long as it doesn't involve going down the pit. He's always on the margins and doesn't really have any friends. Some of the teachers are little better than Jud; one - Mr Sugden, the PE teacher - is as pathetic as he is nasty. (Only one of them, Mr Farthing, could be described as pleasant).

The one good thing in Billy's life is Kes, a kestrel he's raised and trained himself. When asked, Billy claims he'd "found" Kes - that she'd flushed too early, and was too young to look after herself. In reality, Billy took Kes from the nest while still a chick - but he has proven to be a dedicated and caring owner. Billy has changed dramatically since Kes' arrival : she's given him a focus and a sense of responsibility. In fact, he's been spending so much time looking after her, he no longer has the time - or the inclination - to get into trouble away from school. (Unfortunately, his former cronies aren't happy about his desertion, and sometimes like to make his life difficult).

Although Billy wasn't based on a real-life person, he is a character that's very easy to identify with. Looking at the afterward, it seems the book has become an inspiration to many of its readers - people who either knew, or were on the verge of becoming, a real-life Billy Casper. For myself, though, the inspiration is having a tough time competing with a lot of sadness, loneliness and loss. Occasionally, I'll read a book and wonder what happened to a character after the book's final page. Billy's one of those characters : I really don't see him having an easy life, but I hope he was able to find some sort of happiness. A great book, totally recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 27 May 2013
This book just was amazing and I would recommend this book for people who like to read long novels. The only flaw in this book is the words are slightly complicated and sometimes even bad for young readers for myself am only twelve years old. But overall I think that this book was really good.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 5 August 2014
As someone who has taught for longer than I like to admit to, I found this a timely reminder that we never know about the home lives of our pupils and how these circumstances impact on their learning. This is an amazing story which has not lost any of it's relevance over the years.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 23 May 2013
One of my favorite films - I remember school just like that! oh how things have changed - and not all for the better. Never read the story, so this purchase was a little treat. Read it in the day, with one or two tears in my eyes. What a story! Cracking little book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 26 May 2015
I really liked this. It shows how strong the bond between a lonely young man and his animal can be. Captured the bleakness of the time and economic situation in those parts very well- I have a friend who grew up in Barnsley in the 60s and she knew Barry Hines.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 16 January 2015
the story of a boy & his life in an english mining town,if you have seen the film then this book must be read,the piece when billy enters an old derelict cinema & dreams of being there with his father is a brilliant piece of writing.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 9 October 2010
This book helped a load with writing essays in class, and effectively helped me get my A* in GCSE Literature; I definitely recommend this book. :)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Kes [DVD] [1969]
Kes [DVD] [1969] by David Bradley (DVD - 2003)
£3.79

Kes (NHB Modern Plays)
Kes (NHB Modern Plays) by Lawrence Till (Paperback - 15 Jun. 2000)
£8.99

A Kestrel for a Knave (York Notes)
A Kestrel for a Knave (York Notes) by Chrissie Wright (Paperback - 7 Sept. 1997)
£5.99
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.