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on 31 May 2017
Gritty and wonderful and disturbing.
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on 7 January 2007
`Did I hate him? Of course I hated him. But I never meant to kill him.' This quote is taken from the novel Martyn Pig, written by Kevin Brooks.

Martyn Pig is a thirteen year old boy, forced to live with his drunken, unreliable dad, after his mother left his father . The book is set a week before Christmas usually a time for festive cheer, and excitement, but for Martyn, it was the worst week of his life. One day, Martyn and his father are sitting down in front of the television, watching Inspector Morse, when Martyn's dad, totally drunk starts making snide, and stupid remarks about the programme. After a while, Inspector Morse calls for his assistant Lewis. Martyn's father picks up this catchphrase and begins to repeat it, in a loud and obnoxious manner. After some time, this proves too much for Martyn, who is trying hard to concentrate on the programme. At this point, Martyn yells at his father telling him to cut it out, and to stop making the pathetic remarks. Enraged, Martyn's father lunges towards Martyn. In the frenzy, Martyn steps smoothly away, and gives his father a sharp push in the back, sending him sprawling into the fire place, where his head slams heavily into the corner of the fireplace. Scared to call the police, Martyn is faced with two options. He can either tell the police the truth, or hide the body and get on with the rest of his life. Sound simple? Think again, with shocking discoveries and disturbing consequences Martyn and his friend Alex try to deal with the disaster, leading to death, love and betrayal.

In my opinion this is the best book I have ever read, and is undoubtedly a novel to read before you die. I loved the plot in this book, and the way it can be read over and over again without disappointment. Kevin Brooks is a relatively new author, and has only written a few books such as `Lucas', and `Walking the Dead'. When Kevin Brooks was a boy, his dream was to be either a rock star, or a writer, so at least one of his dreams came true. This book contains strong language and was written for teenagers in mind.

THIS REVIEW WAS BY STEPHEN CAGE, AGED 12

HARROGATE.
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on 10 November 2012
When a series of events ends with the accidental death of Martyn Pig's father, Martyn decides he has two choices; risk telling the police what happened and hope they believe him, or do his best to cover up the death and hope no one finds out. Needless to say, Martyn chooses the harder of the two and what follows is a dark tale of what can happen when the truth runs away from you and the lies take over.

As usual with Brooks, this is a well written, thought provoking tale, with a storyline that keeps you guessing. There's also a pretty surprising twist in the tale, which I thought was clever, but the main problem for me was the characters themselves. Martyn, Martyn's father, Alex (Martyn's best friend), Dean (Alex's boyfriend), Martyn's aunt - none of them were likeable. And I found it incredibly difficult to believe that a 14 year old boy would be able to get away with what is essentially manslaughter. Much of Martyn's behaviour throughout the book also seems to teeter on the edge of some sort of mental illness (possibly schizophrenia). He has long conversations with what appears to be a voice (or voices) in his head and deals with events in a very cold, detached, and calculated way. Only when it seems that he may have been found out does he show any kind of remorse, but even this is short-lived when he realises the police can't really pin anything specific on him.

Overall there's no escaping that this is very well written, but the subject matter and tone left me feeling more than a little uneasy and slightly depressed.
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on 18 June 2003
I have read a lot of books so far and most of them have been really good books, but this book tallies high up there. I chose this book to read as my English work but once I got into it I just couldn't put it down. It filled me with a great sense of adventure and mystery. The story leaves you on a cliffhanger and makes you wait to find out what is going to happen after the boy has murdered his father. His father is a drunken man who somehow got custody of him. He drinks a lot and is nearly all the time drunk. He's a short fat slob who doesn't care about his child but then one day his child takes action against him the story continues about the difficulties that the young boy experiences loads of twists in the tale but one big one at the end I'm not saying what you will just have to read it. It gets even more interesting when he gets a little help from his best friend. The plot is great the characters are fascinating and the story is so good it will make you read it over and over again. Go on read it, you'll love it.
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on 5 February 2014
What a weird book. The ending is supposed to be a twist to the tail, but unfortunately it was all too predictable. I did not like the style it was written in and found the book very strange indeed. Very creepy and strange. It did not appeal to me at all. I persevered with it to the end once I had started reading it, and i am sure there are some people out there who enjoy gross books who will like it.
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on 31 March 2005
this is a great book with an unexpected twist in the end! i won't tell you the plot because i dont want to give it away but i would recommend this to any one!!! READ IT!!!
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on 30 June 2004
This book is, well... amazing. Normally i would never have ridden this kind of book, as i do consider it to be a childs book. Yet as i was given it i felt no harm in doing so, needless to say I finished in a night. The inner thoughts of martyn pig, are so like my own i found it suprising. If anything i would suggest you read this book, as it gives much food for thought
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on 10 June 2013
Kevin Brooks is a highly praised children's author and I read this book because a young friend was reading it for GCSE English Literature. My 16 year old friend said he found it depressing and I regret to say that I agreed with him. HOWEVER this maybe because the story centres on the disposal of the body of a dead father and spares very little physical detail. My friend lost his father a year ago and I know I won't ever forget the sight of a much loved body from which the life has gone. This may have skewed both his and my reading. I do wonder, however, what it was doing on an exam syllabus.
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2014
15-year-old Martyn Pig has lived with his alcoholic and physically abusive father ever since his mother walked out several years earlier. When Martyn’s father dies during an argument with Martyn, Martyn is sure that the police won’t believe that it was an accident, especially when he discovers that his dad has inherited £30,000 that he never told Martyn about.

Forced to ask his friend Alex for help, Martyn soon finds himself caught within a web of secrets, lies, deception, blackmail and death where the truth threatens to expose him at any moment …

Kevin Brooks’s debut YA novel is a deftly written thriller that combines great characterisation with a twisting noir plot. Martyn has a great narrative voice (especially his self-deprecating comments) and I really enjoyed the depiction of his friendship with Alex who wants to be an actress but is stuck with techie Dean. I did find Dean and Alex to be more thinly characterised than Martyn but my main complaint would be about the ending, which I won’t spoil but I had hoped for something a bit more hopeful than what we get and while that’s not a bad thing, I’d become so attached to Martyn that I wanted more for him. All in all though, this is a gripping read and if you want a good introduction to Brooks’s work, this is a good place to start.

Martyn’s narration hooks you in from the first page and I really loved the nods to noir (e.g. he’s reading Raymond Chandler during the book) and his love of detective fiction in general. His crush on Alex is sweet and believable as is his frustration that she’s seeing the creepy, bullying Dean. Alex is part girl-next-door, part femme fatale but in some ways she’s underdeveloped, particularly with regards to her reasons for going out with Dean who veers towards being a two dimensional cowardly bully with tech skills. I completely believed in Martyn’s reasons for keeping his father’s death a secret and Brooks does a good job of showing the psychological effects that this has on him. I did wonder what had happened to his mother and why she no longer wanted to see Martyn and wished that Brooks had touched on this but this is a picky point.

All in all the twists and turns of the plot kept be turning the pages and I’d recommend checking it out.
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on 29 June 2012
Martyn Pig Book Review

`Martyn Pig' is a detective novel with several interesting thriller twists. The main characters are Martyn Pig and his friend Alex.
The story starts one night when Martyn is watching TV and his alcoholic father turns on him - resulting in an untimely death... Throughout the novel Martyn's favourite Sherlock Holmes books seems to come alive as he becomes more and more entwined in a nasty web of lies, which he can't seem to stop spinning - but when his best friend betrays him, will everything fall apart?

Set in modern Britain, this book explores how we treat parental abuse in our countries, and how fragile the human mind is. Whilst the father is an alcoholic, it is the way Martyn's mind works that captivates the reader. The way in which he justifies things seem wrong yet strangely logical and the slow pace at which the justice system work is uncannily similar to that in real life, including the way in which some people really do seem to get away with murder.

Personally I thought that this was a very good book. Whilst it was not a real page turner that I couldn't put down, it held my attention and interested me. Even though I did think the twist at the end was clever it was disappointing and didn't provide the ending I had hoped for amongst the scarce characters. I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 13 but think it would appeal to young adults more.

Enjoy!
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