- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Granta Books; New Ed edition (12 Jan. 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1862070458
- ISBN-13: 978-1862070455
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
915,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #488 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry > Applied Psychology > Counselling > Adolescents
- #758 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Families & Parents > Raising Children > Teenagers
- #2925 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Sociology > Family & Social Groups
As If Paperback – 12 Jan 1998
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This volume seeks to expose the hollowness of condemnation divorced from understanding in relation to the Bulger murder trial. People have almost become desensitized to random murder. It is often explained away by madness, sexual fantasy or rejection. One murder in recent times reduced every person to silence: the abduction and beating to death of a helpless infant by two ten-year-old boys. How and why did two innocent boys kill another? Is childhood innocence a myth? And what punishment could fit such a crime, assuming that children are fit to stand trial for murder? Blake Morrison went to the trial in Preston, and discovered a sad ritual of condemnation with two bewildered children at the centre. He looked for possible explanations in the boys' families, their dreary environment, their fantasies, their exposure to violent films. He evokes the worst feats of parents through candid and raw memories of his relations with his own children, and delves into his own childhood to reveal the worst thing he has ever done, to show how easy it is to go along with cruelty.Blake Morrison is the author of two collections of poetry, "Dark Glasses" and "The Ballad of the Yorkshire Ripper", and is co-editor of "The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry". His memoir, "And When Did You Last See Your Father?" won the Waterstone's/Esquire Award for non-fiction and the J.R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography in 1993.
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Excellent. Probably the best written on the case. Looks at the real tragedy of three small children instead of all the mass hysteria and hatred.
Blake Morrison takes us through his days and thoughts while he sat in court where Robert Thompson and Jon Veneables were tried for murder, committed at the age of 10. The trial is intersperced with his thoughts of his own childhood as well as that of his children. His empathy includes everyone, the three sets of parents involved, the three children involved as well as the social workers, the teachers and the city of Liverpool. Don't be fooled though this isn't a simplistic no-one is to blame, the book reads well as he argues to and for several of these points e.g the parents are to blame; what about their parents?. Blake Morrison puts across the view that these children shouldn't have been tried in an adult court, rather they should have had access to pyschiatric help as soon as their involvement was discovered.
Although the premise of the book was to find out why? No obvious answers are found, was it pre-meditated or a prank gone wrong? How will we ever know when 10 year old boys don't think like adults? A sad book particularly in light of the revelation that Jon Veneables has had his parole licence revoked.
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