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Headhunters by [King, John]
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Headhunters Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Length: 323 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

"John King is the authentic voice of contemporary London." --Michael Moorcock, author of The Whispering Swarm

"Brutal, honest and poetic in the way that only a tough guy can be, King loads the gun and shoots us into the lager-filled, lust-fueled lives of five London lads. Headhunters is sexy, dirty, violent, sad and funny; in fact it has just about everything you could want from a book on contemporary working-class life in London." Big Issue

"King loads his characters up with enough interior life, but it's the raw energy of their interactions the beano to Blackpool, the punch-ups, the casual f*cks, the family skeletons and the unburied fantasies that make this excellent book run." --Time Out

Headhunters is an odyssey into southern English blue-collar manners as King deconstructs the stereotype of Essex Man and his outer London contemporaries and finds rather more complex attitudes towards gender and class than the tabloid image suggests." --The List

John King's achievement since his debut has been enormous: creating a modern, proletarian English literature at once genuinely modern, genuinely proletarian, genuinely literature." --Charles Shaar Murray, music journalist and broadcaster

Book Description

The second in the ground-breaking trilogy which reveals the dark underbelly of 1990s Britain - the football, the camaraderie, the violence.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 878 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (30 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NHN0TI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #282,604 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having read and enjoyed "The Football Factory" I was expecting much of the same from "Headhunters". I was pleasantly surprised then, to find that King had moved on to cover the working class 'lad' culture in general rather than just football skins. The five key characters cover many aspects of twentysomething life in modern Britain and it's up to the reader to decide who, if any, they most resemble. In parts sad and in others hilarious (I found Carter's sex/football analogy particularly amusing), "Headhunters" is an important progression for King. Although it may not command the cult following of its predecessor, I feel this is a deeper and better book and well worth the investment.
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Format: Paperback
John King was a friend of the late Alan Sillitoe and Sillitoe's influence can clearly be felt in `Headhunters' and the novel is almost a `Saturday Night & Sunday Morning' for the late 20th century. Yes, John King really is that good.

Forming part of a loose trilogy along with `The Football Factory' and `England Away', `Headhunters' introduces The Sex Division, formed one drunken night with the aim of scoring points for sexual liaisons with women. The Division has a varied mix of characters - there's Carter, `The Unstoppable Sex Machine', a man who views women as commodities to be bedded and then discarded; Mango, a tortured soul whose brother walked out on the family and who Mango is desperate to find; Will, the sensitive one who runs a junk shop and who is embarrassed about the Sex Division, knowing that women offer far more than a quick shag - the promise of love, warmth, happiness and fulfilment; the chapter where Will goes back to Karen's flat is a stunning piece of writing; finally we have Harry and Balti, a couple of painter and decorator's who share a flat and the same laid back approach to life. Balti is the subject of the book's explosive conclusion.

This is a working class world of lager, sex, pubs, clubs, football and the streets of west London. A world that is brutal, cruel and violent yet uplifting, joyous, funny and heartfelt at the same time. This is a novel about real people and the struggle to make a living and the struggle to make something of yourself but all the time snatching every ounce of joy out of life no matter what happens to you.

Flashbacks and internal monologue are King's strong points and feature heavily in all his books (put to brilliant effect in `Human Punk', probably King's strongest novel).
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Format: Paperback
The second of John King's trilogy on sex, drink, drugs and violence is a lot more creative than the previous novel "The Football Factory".
The characters of the Sex Division reflect on the social exploits of the British nation. This initiates the reader into the story as most people can refer to the lifestyles of these extravagent characters.
In my opinion the insight into the lifes of Carter, Balti, Harry, Will and Mango allows for a very enjoyable read. The ending is a great way to summarise the fortunes of the world we live in. Recommended!!
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Format: Paperback
King has written much much better.
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Format: Paperback
Headhunters is John king's interesting follow up to his critically acclaimed first novel, The football Factory. Although it's not an actual sequel, king follows up with the same formula: exploring working class male culture. Headhunters reminds me so much of Irvine Welsh's novel, Glue, which, although has deeper rooted characters, deployed similar characters, such as Carter (called Terry) and `Glue's' Terry Lawson. And before anyone pulls me up on this, yes I know Headhunters preceded Glue.

The characters are likeable but very different; Carter is a `sex machine' who's sole mission in life is to `service' the entire female population; Mango takes up a materialistic approach, taking pride in his expensive cars and highly paid job; Will, the pacifist and thinker, wants a bit more to life than a quick leg over; Balti, nicknamed because of his love of curry; and the daydreamer, Harry, who's character was in my opinion underwritten.
King has a simplistic way of writing and the narrative is at times raw, but at times I felt compelled to be moved by these characters.
Headhunters, incase no one knows, is the name of the hooligan element of Chelsea football club, although unlike The Football factory, this is not put into practice. The `sex division' was an amusing feature to this novel; the characters competed in a sex league, a specific sex act which results in a points system - even pooing in a woman's hand bag.

I found the character of Mango particularly interesting and believe his character is a metaphor for the whole story. King indirectly makes us ponder what's important in life: Mango's selfish, `look after number one' attitude as opposed to Balti's friendly `Look out for each other' slant on life.
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Format: Paperback
Headhunters follows on from King's first book about football hooliganism, but it isn't really about football - it's about sex, lager and laddishness.
The story follows a group of lads who form a Sex Division amongst themselves to see who can rack up the most points, achieved by carrying out various carnal acts with women.
The tale begins at the start of the "season" on New Year's day and follows the men through until the end of the campaign in the summer, when a winner emerges. In between each of the protagonists lives and dreams are followed.
Brutally funny and moving, each of the characters in the book reveal their human side within its covers, if not always to one another.
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