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Strange Boy Paperback – 5 Jun 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; 1st edition (5 Jun. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689836570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689836572
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 21.4 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 903,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Reflective, personal, poignant and nostalgic--Paul Magrs' first novel for teens, Strange Boy, contains within it many interesting moods and contrasting themes. Together with its engaging front story about a 10-year-old boy growing up on an estate in the north east of England in the 1970s, it is an altogether curious reading experience. Strange Boy is at times entertaining and engaging and yet, in contrast, when wading through some of the chunky indulgent swathes of the same boy's family autobiography it is less appealing.

David has a troubled family life. His mum is trying to move her new boyfriend into the family home, while his dad, who he sees only at weekends, has one unsatisfactory new girlfriend after another and is forever getting emotional and borderline violent about his ex-wife's new love life. David, however, is pre-occupied with his superpowers, which he believes are real, and his friendship with John, an older boy who lives next door. Throughout the book David has fantasies about John, and on a number of occasions his relationship becomes innocently physical. But John is often bullied and this fact ultimately leads them both to a final encounter that changes their relationship forever.

The whole book is littered with cultural references of the day--including music, film, sweets, TV programmes--many are name-checked. There are several handy pages of glossary at the back of the book explaining these uniquely iconic 1970's English icons--and it is a joy to peruse them.

There's no great dénouement to the book, but that doesn't really matter. It's a very gritty, "kitchen-sink" type of family drama told here that reads like a soap and is undoubtedly authentic. Magrs is a writer with more to come, for sure, and it'll be interesting to see which story he chooses to tell next. (Ages 13 and over)--John McLay

Review

"It is fascinated by the unstable mixture of ignorance and experience, logic and emotion…[it] most certainly deserves to be read." -- Independent.co.uk, June 6th 2002

"Paul Magrs is good at the . . . surprising nature of sexuality, very good at the sense of being different without knowing why" -- Philip Pullman, Guardian 1st June 2002

"Strange Boy will entertain any reader, of any age or persuasion, who has ever felt secretly relieved at being an outsider." -- Patrick Gale,

"Warm and blackly hilarious." -- The Observer, June 2nd 2002

Strange Boy is excellent, and works on all levels. -- Financial Times, 25th May, 2002

Wry, poignant affectionate, sassy … Paul Magrs breaks an unspoken taboo in the publishing world. -- The Irish Times, 15th May, 2002

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21 February 2014
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4 September 2011
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17 July 2013
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12 December 2015
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12 December 2015
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28 June 2002
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