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Bad Influence Paperback – 25 Mar 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd (25 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241141400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241141403
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.9 x 18.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,226,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Shocking, horribly credible, hilarious

About the Author

William Sutcliffe is the bestselling author of New Boy and Are You Experienced?, which has sold over 200,000 copies in Penguin. He lives in North London. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the first William Sutcliffe book I have read and what drew me to it was the front cover or, more specifically, the expression on the boy's face pictured on the cover: young, but not at all innocent, chilling even. And indeed Bad Influence is a truly chilling book, though initially it begins in a very humourous vein and I honestly can't remember having laughed out loud so much while reading a book.

Sutcliffe introduces us to Ben, the main character. Ben is ten and Sutcliffe's portrayal of Ben's life, emotions and actions are amazingly accurate. The humour in this book comes from the fact that we can all identify with Ben and what is was like to be ten and think the thoughts of a ten year old. One example being where Ben describes his best friend being taken away as like someone "confiscating your legs", followed by the admission "It's not really like that. If someone pulled off your legs, you'd bleed to death." Many of the initial anecdotes ring so true; many of them, particulary regarding Ben's siblings, actually happened to me!
But Sutcliffe doesn't only capture the funny side of being ten, he also portrays a realistic picture of the chilling side too. I doubt any reader will fail to identify with the peer pressure Sutcliffe so honestly and brutally subjects his main character to. The need to fit in, the need to be the best friend, the jealousy, the pride, the pain of rejection, the lengths children will go to to be accepted. Bad Influence has it all, and while the majority of readers won't have gone to the extremes of the main characters in this book, I believe that every reader will have experienced each and every emotion within Bad Influence.
This is a powerful book, delightful, humourous, touching, brutal and ultimately shocking. Never before have I felt that a writer has so accurately stepped into the shoes of a child's mind and heart. Buy this book - you won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback
Following on from his previous successes, this book - to my mind - stands out as William Sutcliffe's best yet. The kid who tells the story here - Ben - starts hanging around with a bad kid called Carl. He doesn't like Carl, but his best friend Olly does, so in an effort to fit in he does what Carl says. Although when things go too far he decides to drop Olly as a friend, the loneliness of his social isolation soon has him scampering back to fit in. However, under Carl's control, things begin to escalate out of control.
Sutcliffe narrates the story brilliantly from a 10 year olds perspective and - particularly early on - there are some very funny bits (Ben's diagrans in particular). But the main strength of the book is how it puts into perspective a lot of the media coverage we consume that concentrates on evil children. It shows how a normal good kid can, under the control of a genuine little horror, quite easily end up doing unspeakable things.
My only regret is that William Sutcliffe does not write more prolifically, as he is very talented at his genre.
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Format: Paperback
I first read Are You Experienced and it was the first book to actually make me laugh aloud. After reading his other books I read his latest, Bad Influence, and it's the second book to have me laughing. It's so accurate and well written and funny I couldn't put it down and Ben is a great character. Thoroughly enjoyable, I can't wait to see what William comes up with next!
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Format: Paperback
William Sutcliffe has done it once more, with a cracking read about childhood identity. He lets us back into a world we've left behind and reminds us of those irrational fears that we may become social outcasts if we don't keep up with the pack - however dangerous the ground they are walking becomes. This book starts as funny and ends as chilling, but is always well paced and brilliantly written. For an equally skilled, but very different, take on peer-pressure and child crime, read Jonathan Trigell's Boy A. Well done again to Sutcliffe.
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