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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Different and Quirky'? - too right !
'Different and quirky' claims the blurb, and for once they are right - an immensely powerful book, written in the first person about the author's struggles against the dark storms that threaten to totally overwhelm him and the small successes that prevent his descent from frustration into the mindless release of violence.
Biting comment on homelessness, how society...
Published on 25 April 2012 by TonyD

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3.0 out of 5 stars A Strange One
This is a strange novel. First released in 2010, it seems the publishers are finally promoting it two years later.

The novel - novella perhaps - is very short and represents a sort of diary kept by a Newcastle drug dealer called Tyler over the space of a couple of days in December. He seems to have some form of psychotic disorder and this causes him to think...
Published on 24 July 2012 by MisterHobgoblin


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and thought-provoking, 30 May 2012
By 
Denise4891 (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
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Tyler Stevens' debut novel (? novella) Street is a quirky and unusual book, narrated in the first person by our friendly protagonist (rather co-incidentally named Tyler!) who seems to be talking us through his nervous breakdown over the course of a couple of days.

The pace is frenetic at times, especially as Tyler spirals into even deeper paranoia and delusion. Along the way he gives us numerous clues as to how he got into this situation and what lies behind his plight, as well as a brief insight into mental health service provision and how the homeless and drug users are shunned and marginalised by `normal' society. At less than 150 pages it was never going to be an in-depth look at the social problems of Britain in the 21st century, but it was an engaging yet challenging read and certainly gave me something to think about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Different and Quirky'? - too right !, 25 April 2012
By 
TonyD "biotone" (Up North) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
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'Different and quirky' claims the blurb, and for once they are right - an immensely powerful book, written in the first person about the author's struggles against the dark storms that threaten to totally overwhelm him and the small successes that prevent his descent from frustration into the mindless release of violence.
Biting comment on homelessness, how society tends to turn it's back on those who are labelled as 'mentally ill', and how indeed we seem all too eager to pigeon-hole someone as a 'drug problem', 'alcohol problem' or 'mental problem'.
It is very well written, and conveys perfectly the rollercoaster of emotions the author feels as he struggles to make sense of his surroundings.
A must read, and thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brave and refreshing new voice, 18 April 2012
By 
J. Turley (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
Inside the cover to this book it reads "This is Tyler Stevens' first book" and I think that this is very much in evidence in this novel as it incredibly raw and refreshing. The novel is written in the first person and in a very conversational and colloquial way so you really get to feel familiar with Tyler (yes, the chief protagonist is Tyler Stevens, the author) and get inside his head. This really does indicate that much of the novel is semi-autobiographical in nature - although it is clear from the vivid use of nature in the book that this novel is written by someone who not only wanted to communicate about mental illness, drugs and homelessness in a very upfront way but who also has a genuine literary talent. I like the way Tyler analyses his use of words, phrases and punctuation; it's almost as if he is wondering about the public perception of him and how they will judge him - whether it's by his style of writing or in the novel's events. The novel really does raise some important issues about the mentally ill and the homeless and how they have, perhaps, become the new lepers of society. Reading between the lines, it appears that Tyler believes many of those with mental health issues just need a helping hand to get through a rough patch but are so afraid of being socially stigmatised they find themselves unable to accept help - thus leading to situations or a state of mind which are even more likely to spiral out of control. It's catch 22, I suppose. The author has a lot to say about drugs too and it's clear that he thinks they are responsible for screwing up a lot of young lives. So, there are a lot of issue tackled in this book and tackled in a really direct and open manner with absolutely no pretences about what it feels like to mentally ill. It's a really brave piece of writing - even for a book which is perhaps partially fiction. The author doesn't offer any solutions to the problems he describes (although he does wash his drugs down the sink) but I think the fact that a pound from every sale is being donated to Shelter says a lot about where his heart is - even if you don't know the answers at least you can make an effort to help.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get past the first chapter., 19 April 2013
By 
Lily (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
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I like to give each book I read a fair go. The blurb on the back of this book really got me interested - an out-of-control street-wise youngster with violent tendencies. There seemed to be the basis for an interesting story. However, I couldn't get past the first chapter. Written in the first person, it reads like a stream of consciousness novel. It was rambling, there were violent thought but no rhyme or reason to explain and it just didn't grab me. I have read better written books. Life is too short.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short but powerful, 9 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. K. Cross "keithcelt2" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
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There's some power packed into these 136 pages. It careers along at breakneck speed, detailing Tyler Stevens' descent into madness over the space of a couple of days. It deals with mental health issues, drug dealing, homelessness. It sounds depressing, but it contains some rather dark humour, & is ultimately uplifting. The narrative is punchy, sharp, thrusting forward with speed carrying the reader with it. An excellent semi-autobiographical novella, the first he has written. It is in the first person, so I felt I really got into his head. It wasn't the best place to be, but it added to the story as I felt I got to know Tyler. I cared what happened to him. Hopefully, he'll write another, longer, book because if it's anything as good as this, it'll be great!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different world, 26 Sep 2012
By 
Laura Smith (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
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A compelling look into a sick mind and how quickly someone can go from living a normal lifestyle, to being on the street
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4.0 out of 5 stars Righteous Write, 25 Aug 2012
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
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Publishers of `Street' are righteously committed to donating £1.00 to the charity Shelter for every copy sold, and readers are presented with thought-provoking insights to homelessness, depression and drug dealings. `Street' is written in the first person by main protagonist, Tyler, and readers must make up their own minds on whether author Tyler Stevens is writing with regard to himself or whether his book is fiction. The character Tyler puts down his own views and assessments to help clear his thinking as he seeks to escape a private Hell of despair and fear - but to escape to where?

Certainly the author is street-wise and has deep understanding of the subjects when he writes about a form of mental breakdown. He is somewhat obsessed by impressive sounding words yet his writing is imperfect with unsavoury swearwords, irritating colloquialism and poor punctuation. Perhaps this adds to authenticity and impact as behind the façade of a narrative style in simple raw language `Street' is a serious and righteous piece of work. Author Tyler Stevens speaks from his heart with a degree of self-loathing as he portrays the horrifying reality of those on the fringe of society. Publicity blurb correctly promises readers something different and quirky, but more importantly `Street' will challenge attitudes to the homeless and the mentally ill, especially those exposed to the devastating and destructive influence of drugs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Short but thought provoking, 20 Aug 2012
By 
Bess_Wheat - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
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This book shares many similarities with The Catcher in the Rye. Mainly the tone of the narrator and the narrative style, which is very Holden Caulfield-like, and even the mention of 'where do the ducks go in winter?' At first, the character irritated me slightly due to the constant reference towards words and whether they were pretentious or not.

However, I found myself getting more drawn in as the book progressed. Through it, he records the course of events over a weekend as he rambles round town with only Old Storm for company. He becomes increasingly preoccupied with imagined scenes of violence and of 'booting' people in the head, replaying scenes over and over. The effects of his mental breakdown and consequences essentially show how those living 'on the edge' are treated by society. With misunderstanding and contempt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sparsely Told, Deeply Affecting, 31 July 2012
This review is from: Street (Paperback)
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After reading a couple of dismally disappointing Big Publishing House novels [one of which inexplicably has made it onto the chattering classes self-congratulatory Booker Long List] it was a breath of fresh air to read this excellent novella from a small independent press.

In barely 40 000 words Tyler Stevens achieves more than the current British literary novel `heavyweights' [excuse me whilst I hold my sides laughing] manage to muster in three times that number.

The story is told in the first person by Tyler, over a couple of days running up to Christmas in a provincial British city. Other characters drift in and out of the narrative- notably a homeless woman called Veronica- but bang central to proceedings is the narrator, who is in the advanced stages of a serious decline in his mental health.

He has a continual desire to inflict violence on random people he meets; although he fantasises about it, he never sees the urges through, because he still knows its wrong. But the urges are driving him crazier and crazier and crazier...

For one night though he offers shelter in his flat to a homeless woman which is to some degree cathartic for him. She leaves the next day though and Tyler decides to track her down again.

The novella is then primarily focused on his couple of days wandering the city centre and his experiences there. He has become a small-time drug dealer who obviously once had a job which he lost; he is also it seems up to his neck in debt and his tenure on his flat is on a knife-edge as he rapidly falls apart mentally. Central to his wanderings also is Old Storm, a huge winter snow storm blowing through the city and something he takes up as a soul mate, in that its wayward tempestuousness mirrors his own plight. In fact the description of this storm and particularly the first night, as thick snow falls on the city centre park he's moving through, is wonderful, evocative stuff in its sublime, atmospheric description of both the natural and built environment. Even jaded old me felt as if I was in that park with him...very, very good.

To mention any more of the story would be a spoiler so I'll leave it there, but I'm so pleased I took a chance on this sparsely told but deeply affecting book. It will not win the Booker Prize but that to me is now A Good Thing when it comes to new literature. The new, vital voices in British fiction are clearly now all in the small independent presses or, increasingly so, being self-published. So if you want to find out what is really happening and vital in British literature today, this is as good a place to start as any.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and enthralling, 29 July 2012
By 
A. Douglas (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street (Paperback)
Tyler has issues, he doesn't trust the world we live in and feels like hitting everyone he sees just to feel better. He's not alone in this feeling and it shows we live in a society filled with mistrust and paranoia. Tyler even tries getting help, but is given advice. He knows you are either sectioned or ignored if you have mental issues.
This book is narrated by Tyler and it's a great read. How many times do we walk past a homeless person and do and say nothing. This is our society and it's a sad one. I really enjoyed this book.
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Street
Street by Tyler Stevens (Paperback - 27 Nov 2010)
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