August 2009 Archives
Danny is the type of kid that got chucked out of your class at school. The type you'd avoid on a dark night. One of the "ASBO-kids" you usually read about in the Daily Mail and who are curiously absent from "real" books. He is not immediately likeable, understandable or sympathetic.
So, it seems a brave step that Kicked Out, Newcastle-based Richard W Hardwick's debut novel, takes sixteen-year old Danny as its main protagonist. The plot is uncomplicated. When Danny is kicked out of his abusive home and finds he has nowhere else to go, he is forced into a shelter for homeless teenagers. There he pairs up with Goochy, a more experienced and streetwise resident, and together they negotiate their new life within the intense hostel environment- a place where deep friendships are formed but mistrust and violence constantly simmers below the surface. Things seem to be getting better- with friends and a new relationship lending much needed stability to his life- but when Danny discovers a shocking truth about his past, dramatically and inevitably things begin to unravel.
Not quite sure how it's taken me 127 songs to pick something by Tom Waits, but I hope this will make up for my tardiness.
Downtown Train is from Waits' 1985 album Rain Dogs, which no home should be without. (It was described by one critic as "bony and beautiful" which sounds about right.)
The video was directed by trendy Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Mondino and features the boxer Jake LaMotta, whose life was the basis of the film Raging Bull.
If you are bookish and live in Hexham, make tonight the night you join a real book group! The group meets tonight (and usually the second Wednesday of every month) at The Forum Cinema Cafe at 7.30pm with reader in residence Susie Troup. It's incredibly easy to join- read the book, turn up and get talking! All groups are informal and fun, the perfect combination of drinks, laughs, a bit of book discussion and the odd visit from an author. Tonight the book will be discussing the August book of the month Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas, so come along and try it yourself....
8-9 Market Place