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The Hit Paperback – 4 Apr 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House; 1 edition (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190843533X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908435330
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"One of the few entirely essential authors in the world of young-adult fiction...THE HIT has many of the elements that make Burgess such a compelling writer. The sex, drugs, and rock n' roll are all there, and that distinctive Burgess prose -- swaggering, intense, and exciting -- thrums through it all." -- Anthony McGowan

"A writer of the highest quality with exceptional powers of insight." -- THE LONDON TIMES

"Booklist "Starred Review
Burgess' dystopian novel posits a near-future world in which the gap between rich and poor has grown to an unbridgeable chasm. In their despair, many have-nots are taking a new drug called Death that offers seven days of euphoric bliss followed by the oblivion of death. Adam, 17, is one of these. His hopes for an education are dashed, his brother is missing and presumed dead, and he's been dumped by his girlfriend, Lizzie. Seeing nothing but a bleak future, he impulsively takes the pill, but as his own options are precluded, enormous changes are underway. Led by a group called the Zealots, society is teetering on the brink of revolution. Meanwhile, a drug lord and his psychopathic son enter Adam and Lizzie's lives to potentially catastrophic effect. Will Lizzie survive? Will Adam die or is it possible that there might be an antidote to Death after all? Burgess, a master of YA literature, has written a novel of white-knuckle suspense that has considerable violence and ambitious philosophical underpinnings. How does one deal with socioeconomic inequity? Is revolution a viable strategy? Is death? If this ambitious novel has flaws, it may be a lack of attention to these very questions. In addition, the villains--though terrifying--are over the top. But all that said, the novel is viscerally exciting and emotionally engaging. Best of all, it is sure to excite both thoughtful analysis and heated discussion among its readers. A clear winner from Burgess.

"Publishers Weekly "Starred Review
Burgess (Smack) returns with a boundary-pushing thriller that all-too-believably builds on contemporary threads including income inequality, the Occupy movement, and a YOLO mentality. On the night he attends rocker Jimmy Earle's final concert, Adam knows that his life has changed. Earle's on-stage demise--supposedly from Death, an expensive drug that provides the consummate one-week high followed by death--has awakened a riotous fervor in depressed Manchester, England, which may mark the beginning of a larger revolution. The high of Adam's night out with his girlfriend, Lizzie, comes crashing down when Adam's older brother, Jess, is reported dead. Suddenly, taking Death means a way out. Burgess's prose is straightforward and fast-paced, and his third-person narration hopscotches from character to character while giving readers clear insight into the motives that drive them. His plot swerves are unexpected but well-maneuvered, and his characters' flaws and self-absorptions make them complex and real. Amid violent action, existential anguish, and the heightened appreciation for life that death can bring, Burgess has created a premise that readers will find hard to forget. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

About the Author

MELVIN BURGESS is the recipient of both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Award for his controversial bestseller JUNK (SMACK in the US). He is the author of more than twenty books for young readers, including DOING IT, BLOODTIDE, SARA'S FACE, and KILL ALL ENEMIES. Visit his website http: //melvinburgess.net and follow him on Twitter @MelvinBurgess. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Review: There's a new drug going round. Death. Giving you a week to live, and an eternity to not. Adam's life is going very badly when he is given the chance to take it. Drawn in to a dangerous gang world, protesters, extreme violence and high stakes, Adam will discover what he has to live for.
I was really excited about this one. I've not read Junk or anything by Melvin before, but I feel like I should. The premise of The Hit was instantly eyecatching and exciting, and one that I could see going in any number of directions. Melvin took it in a good way.
Adam is a character that you get very close to, probably because of the intimacy and intensity of the things we go through with him, you know, thinking he'll die being the major one. He is immature at times, but also real. Lizzie is the saner girl, even though she is forced into the world of danger that Adam gets involved in. Christian is horrible, and scary in the way that real properly evil horrible people are. The mob network and the opposing group, the Zealots, were well fleshed out.
Plotwise, it works. It's kept moving at a good pace. Things come round in funny ways. The ending-the outline was predictable, the exact workings of it, not so. The writing-really good.
I was surprised that after the emphasis on Death in the press thing and on the internet and thing, it was plot driven by the gang and action like that. It worked as a story, but with the concept, it wasn't what I was expecting and I think I would have liked to see a bit more questions being posed as a larger component of the story.
That said, it did raise quite a few. Would you take it? How would you spend your last week? Would you think it was worth it?

Overall: Strength 4 tea to a gritty and real book with a thoughtprovoking look at death and life.
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Format: Paperback
Melvin Burgess really doesn't pull his punches or talk down to a teenage audience.
This one is no different to others of his I've read - stark, violent in parts, not for younger teens.

The premise is superb - a new drug is available that when taken gives you a huge rush of life for one week. Then kills you. There is no antidote. Once you take it, you have seven days left. Brilliant, eh?
The story involves the not-uncommon teens in love, but set in what appears to be a slightly dystopian modern world, with revolution on the horizon and Zealots using the drug and situation for their own political ends.

It's hard-hitting stuff. Especially when psychotic gangsters enter the plot, with Lizzie, sweet everyday teen caught up in a horrific situation that seems almost out of place in this sort of literature. It's this section that is almost distasteful and hard to bear.

Not for the faint-of-heart, but powerful thought-provoking stuff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idea that kids would pop a pill for one amazing week in exchange of a lifetime of living I found mildly disturbing. Actions and consequences and the impact on others is the lesson. An easy read.. All's well that ends well, right?
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Format: Paperback
Originally published on Serendipity Reviews
This book is not for the faint hearted. Within the first few pages you are thrown into this world forty years in the future when unemployment is at its highest and the recession has taking full control. The book portrays an extremely realistic and frightening view of what the UK could one day become. On the death of the rock star Jimmy Earle from a recreational drug that gives you the best week of your life, followed by your imminent death, the country erupts into violence and revolt. Everyone wants to live like Jimmy and the drug Death, floods onto the streets via the cult organisation, Zealots. You get a chill speeding through your body, as the riots occur and spiral out of control, reminding you all of the violence and demonstrations that took place on the streets of the UK a few years ago. It makes you feel uneasy and uncomfortable, but you find yourself compelled to read further to find out what will happen.

The Zealots are a rather scary organisation with hints of present day terrorist groups flavouring their image. Suicide bombing is as natural to them as taking a stroll in the park; the group members are brainwashed and happy to die for the cause. With the added ingredient of gangsters, mob mentality and drugs flooding the market, you have a strong, gritty and determined contemporary thriller. A YA version of Martina Cole's adult novels.

I didn't like Adam to begin with. He came across as a desperate money grabbing hormonal teacher, intent on shagging a rich girl and making her pregnant. An instant turn off to any girl. I suppose if the world had turned in such a way, he would represent a major group of teenagers with the same mentality. Lizzie came across as a stronger and more likeable character.
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Format: Paperback
Melvin Burgess is regarded as one of the best writers in contemporary children's literature. He is also one of the most controversial and in his latest novel The Hit he demonstrates both his skill as a writer and his willingness to make us more than a little uncomfortable when we read one of his novels.

The idea behind The Hit is in itself fascinating. The original idea for the book was formed by a group of A-level Philosophy students and their tutors before being taken forward by Chicken House publisher, Barry Cunningham. Due to the subject matter of the book, and it's somewhat unusual birth, Cunningham approached the author he knew wouldn't mind working a bit differently and who wouldn't mind dealing with the controversial idea at the centre of the book - Burgess.

Told in a dual narrative by teens Adam and Lizzie The Hit is set in a near future where Manchester is on the brink of revolt and their is talk of revolution in the air. Revolution and anarchy is being fuelled by a new drug that is flooding the streets - 'Death', a euthanasia drug that gives you the best week of your life - before killing you. Looking for an easy way out from his self proclaimed 'rubbish life' and still trying to come to terms with the death of his brother Adam succumbs to the lure of 'Death'. However despite an initial euphoric rush Adam soon realises that life may indeed be better then death.

The whole concept of 'Death' is exceptionally clever and is an amazingly powerful 'hook' into the novel. Once the reader is 'hooked' Burgess takes them on a relentless, adrenalin fuelled adventure through the streets and industrial wastelands of Manchester. As we move between Adam and Lizzie's story we see the effect their actions have on each other and the story at large.
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