It's Ok but it's no Clockwork Orange either....,
This review is from: Soljas (Paperback)
This book works well if you want a fix of lurid exploitation - it's more of an unfilmed screenplay that a wholly satisfying novel though. I could easily see someone like Nick Love or Neil Marshall getting hold of this and making an ultra violent Brit movie from it. As a book, however, it's just not well enough written for me. Not to say I didn't enjoy it at all but it lacks real depth in the characterisation. The novel's anti hero Dylan is not rounded enough and the rest of the characters are often not sufficiently developed. However it moves at a brisk pace and there's some very graphic violence involving dismemberment, rape, eye gouging, steam irons, golf clubs etc, etc and some very explicit sexual references. In truth the violence is so ott at times (almost into Hostel waters) that credibility is often severley strained. The author also seems to revel in an almost pornographic attention to details when referring to the clothing apparel that the gang members wear;a mixture of mountain gear & sportswear that is almost always regulation black (reminded me of American Psycho in the clothing fixation). Also heavy focus on firearm details especially the Ingram Mac 10 SMG. Certainly by the time the military arrive and begin to engage the gangs on the ground, it's hard not to feel we are in Escape From New York waters rather than a Liverpool estate!!
Another thing, I have read is that the novel is set in the near future but I never found it to be stated anywhere in the book. The scenario of army vs lawless street gangs is an often seen futuristic scenario but there are no specific futuristic references here either in the dates, locations or cultural references. I guess it must be near future though for things to have got as bad as they are in the book!!
Some people may find the dialect initially difficult but the golssary at the back does help on that score.
Like I said, it could probably make an entertaining movie but Graham Johnson is certainly no John King, Irvine Welsh or Anthony Burgess!