advertisement
26 November 2008

Boy A

O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive! (Scott) This book is about the ultimate deception: living a life that’s been invented for your own protection.

0

by Jonathan Trigell

At 24, Jack is released from prison, and enters the real world for the first time since he was locked up as a 9-year-old. He’s been set up with a job, a place to stay, an ‘uncle’ to help him adjust to freedom. He’s also been set up with a new identity, because ‘Jack’ is known to the public as Boy A, one of two 9-year-old boys convicted of killing a little girl.

There are many parallels with the Jamie Bulger case in England in the early 1990s, and that’s not accidental. When Bulger’s killers were released, theoretically having paid their debt to society, society was savagely angry. So it is in Boy A: Jack is tragically grateful for the ordinary things like air and light and conversation, but simultaneously haunted, hunted, and finding how desperately hard it is to live below the radar. How impossible it is to live a lie and still be a friend, a boyfriend.

Stigma is a painfully limiting thing to live with – sufferers of HIV, mental illness , even lung cancer patients struggle with stigma continually. If more than stigma, you’re also carrying the taint of evil, as Jack discovers, life is unbearable. And society is unbearable.

More than a brooding story of growing threat, growing vulnerability, however, Boy A is an exploration of how benign neglect can twist a childhood; how bullying can make savages out of children; how idealism can be its own worst enemy. It’s a challenging and amazing read.

Click here to buy this book.

(Review by Heather Parker)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Hello? »

SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss Earworms: Let it go Is it bad to sleep with earplugs all the time?

SEE: Do women hear better than men?

The reason why men often appear not to be listening could be because they actually can't hear you.

Confident smile? »

Acidic drinks can harm your kids' smiles The facts on bleaching your teeth Am I taking good care of my teeth?

Why are my teeth stained?

We know the rules – brush your teeth twice a day and floss to keep them healthy. But, have you ever wondered what causes those stains that sometimes appear?