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Hollow Shotguns Paperback – 3 Jul 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Severest Inks; 1st edition (3 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957325509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957325500
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,130,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
What I enjoyed most about Hollow Shotguns, was the same thing I initially liked less. At first, it was hard for me to get into the story because of the language. The dialogue and the prose kept on pulling me out of the imaginary bliss you normally aim to achieve when losing yourself in a novel. However, once I got used to it, I started loving it, and looking forward to it. It was almost like having to learn a new language. Initially you feel left out from the conversation, excluded, and once you've mastered that new tongue, you rejoice in your new ability and enjoy the humour and deeper, implied meanings. The language became the story for me, making this definitely NOT A F***ing Beach Read.

Hollow Shotguns is the story of an apocalypse, the end of the world, and on a deeper level, of humanity. The setting is Riverstones City (Stones for short), which is not new to fans of Khalid Patel. Characters from other stories like Red are met here. It's the capital of poverty, crime and moral degradation, the grotesqueness given to the dangerous streets a metaphor in itself. It's hopeless, and depressing.

Inside the monstrosity that is this city are layers of dark, South Grove being one of the most decayed of the suburbs. "The Grove comprised a squared stretch of slight dwellings. All decrepit... Crumbling corners embraced spent needles, smoked-out blunts. The same sidewalks which in day hosted candy swapping, playful tussles, teenage flirting, come night quartered drug dealing, brutal violence, prostitution." This is home to The Set, a gang of four teenage boys. At heart, they are only boys, who do what boys do. For example, the question at the centre of Slash's universe is "Can Tyler Durden thrash Frank The Bunny?" Their actions are geared at proving their worth.
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Format: Paperback
The pace of Hollow Shotguns is launched in the opening pages. The narrative is unrelenting, mesmeric, sparked with emotional energy; the jarred and disjointed prose providing imagery of chaos and destruction that is almost tangible, at times viscerally alarming, yet captivating throughout.

Set in the blistering heat of summer, this is the story of a gang of preadolescents endeavouring to survive the homicidal consequences of a raging virus. As Hollow Shotguns unfolds, it becomes evident that the traditional materials of horror are being pushed far wider than ever before, merging popular and literary fiction. Whilst the foundations may lie in the horror genre, rather than sinking to the usual slasher/zombie plotlines and letting the reader idly suspend disbelief, Hollow Shotguns forces them to confront and question where the real threat to the physical and spiritual self lies. As the measures taken to ensure survival escalate, the narrative unnervingly exposes how the capacity for harm which dwells within the human psyche is far more terrifying than any external demons. This is a work brave enough to challenge its readers not just appease.

The humour weaving through the passages offers some respite from the intensity of the main subject matter, with constantly well-placed reminders of our protagonists' youth and innocence, juxtaposing the bleaker backdrop of the apocalypse and the violence. The naive ponderings of the young prodigies, often focusing on minute and irrelevant details irrespective of the approaching apocalypse, serves to develop the characters and give the book heart. From corrupt governments to antiquated education systems, all come in for hilarious ridicule... especially poignant when expressed from the mouths of the young boys.
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Format: Paperback
While reading Hollow Shotguns you'll laugh, cry, be shocked and sobered. Man, that’s just through the first freakin’ chapter! The thing about Hollow Shotguns is, it’s not really about the apocalypse at all. Rather it’s about five boys, all from broken families - families with abusive fathers, anguished single mothers and violent brothers. In fact (disregarding the brief pulse-bothering prologue) the first few chapters don’t even feel like something from the apocalypse genre, more of a poignant drama. In these opening chapters, Khalid Patel provides Hollow Shotguns a realistic, relatable ambience. He ensures you connect and empathise with the characters before throwing them, and us, into the epic circumstances forming the crux of this book.

And when the s*** hits the fan, Hollow Shotguns does become balls-to-the-wall EPIC. Full on cinematic set-pieces sneak up on you! Yet the action scenes are ingeniously designed to make you think. Unlike most depictions of violence in entertainment, this isn’t dry, by-the-numbers action. The author keeps you on your toes during battles, often not fully spelling-out what is occurring, encouraging you to read between the lines. This is very cleverly done as it reflects actual combat, where the situation is ever-dynamic and you never know what’ll happen next. And your thrashing adrenaline gives you a sort of super-sensed high, just like you’ll get from the inventive, intensive fight scenes here. There are echoes of American Psycho in the violence, particularly in how it is sometimes sustained, almost in an endurance test of our sensibilities. As other reviewers note, The War chapter is particularly gruelling.

These heart-racing, pounding moments are flanked by scenes that are moving, humorous, or blends of both.
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