A Kestrel for a Knave (M Books) Spiral-bound – 1 Oct 1993
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About the Author
Barry Hines was born near Barnsley, Yorkshire, in 1939 and was a promising footballer before taking a teaching qualification at Loughborough. He taught PE in London and in Yorkshire before writing full time. He has written nine novels, and co-wrote the screenplay of Kes with Ken Loach. He lives in Yorkshire. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hines never sweetens the story with false sentiment but keeps all the action gritty and realistic. What is surprising is that it is very easy to sympathise with Billy despite his prickliness, bad manners and violence. Hines portrays him, as a normal boy brought up in poverty without any aspirations- his bad behaviour is a product of these social elements rather than his true self.
There is a strong sense of love underneath the frustration and anger. Billy lives for his kestrel and his sense of devotion is what lifts an otherwise bleak social study to more optimistic levels. The Casper family have a strange mixture of violence, jealousy and love between them- it seems that despite the anger and threats their family must stick together.
The film, Kes, although very similar to the book and a wonderful work in its own right, has a different ending- perhaps motive enough for the film's many fans to read the book and see what really happened.
AKFAK mixes vivid descriptions of the countryside and small industrial town with fleshed out characters with great dialogue and a story that's simplicity tells a moving and plausible tale of hope and grim realism.
Another teacher, the Games teacher, makes fun of Billy and is pointlessly cruel, making him the butt of unfeeling jokes. Jud often sends him to put money on horses at the betting shop and one day Billy is too late. He spends the money on meat for the bird. But Jud deals out a cruel revenge.
This is a simple but searingly sad story. Unusual in that it is honest and forthright about the way Billy's life is narrowing as he approaches the age where his only hope is a manual job, either that or the pit. It's not a happy ending for Billy.
This book was made into a film, Kes, which has a different ending. The book has no time for sentiment. It's a sorrowful yet piercingly honest picture of a child without any consolation. Billy's not a hero, and probably will never climb out of the deadening and futile future that is all the world has planned for him.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Read it at school, many, many years ago. Made me cry then and sure it will again.Published 1 month ago by Theresa Stokes
Still heart wrenching after all these years _ seems different now I'm middle aged.
Still my favourite book after all these years
This is not great writing but pitch perfect "novel verite" dealing with a troubled, friendless boy who in his schooling and family background can find little support. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mr. A. J. Downs
great book nice presentation too, nice cover. Reminds me of english lessons as a teenager.Published 3 months ago by larry potter
A bit dated in today's world but I love the storyline and would still use this with school children.Published 3 months ago by Beanisss