Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You and Me Vs The World, 9 Jan 2013
This review is from: Notebooks of a Naked Youth (Paperback)
This is a brave and outlandish book, the narrator a rather crazed (schizophrenic) and misanthropic character first detailed in the book My Fault. The naked youth of the title, William Loveday, is a victim of child abuse and the power of the book is in the portrayal of the damage such a childhood produces. The problem I had with it is its repetitive nature. Childish certainly achieves great things in producing an authentic voice, but the voice is so jarring against the world that the terse and shocking language and ideas become oppressive and then strangely rather dull. I found the strengths to be the descriptions of the often isolated characters (mostly the elderly) with whom Loveday interacts. In between the venom the narrator holds for them there is understanding and humanity.

The shift in the third part of the book from Kent to Hamburg signals the opportunity for more quirky smut but by then I was just counting the pages till the end. That isn't to say I wouldn't read more of Billy Childish's works- he is daring with his tone and subject matter and that's to be applauded. The book is incredibly difficult to categorise or explain and for that alone I would encourage people to read it. All I would say is brace yourself for discomfort and be aware you might, at times, not know whether to laugh or cry.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
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