SMACK MELVIN BURGESS PDF

Plot summary[ edit ] The novel is told in the first person, with each chapter having a different character narrating. At the beginning of the story, fourteen year old Gemma Brogan is spending time with David "Tar" Lawson, a boy of the same age. Tar is a victim of physical abuse at the hands of his father, and - as he later realises - emotional abuse from his mother. Both of his parents are alcoholics.

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Shelves: Im conflicted about this book. On the one hard, its absolutely brilliant. It really is. Its slow to start, but after the first chapter I was pulled in and just kept turning page after page. I was desperate to know what happened next.

The character voices sang to me sang to me through the pages. On the other hand, the subject matter. Im not one to mark a book down purely because of the subject matter. The character voices sang to me — sang to me through the pages. Not enough goes wrong. But, in light of recent events to deal with my personal situation, I have contemplated self-harm. I thought about cutting myself when I was so deep into stress, anxiety, and depression.

It helps with release. It helps make you feel better. Which is not fun. By complete chance I accidentally opened a vein in my leg and bled all over my bathroom.

But the sight of all that blood scared me off thinking of cutting myself anymore. I am being completely honest when I say there are better ways of dealing with things. But I was reading the book I was appalled, because here are a bunch of strong-voiced characters telling us how easy it is to get into drugs, how good it makes you feel, how easy it is to quit and pick you life back up. No one fucks up their life beyond repair hide spoiler ]. What if someone younger and more impressionable than I picks up this book, sees how apparently easy it is to dabble in drugs, and decides to experiment themselves?

Because of the message it sends. But it also won a Carnegie Medal, so what the fuck do I know? And I doubt that was the message, to be honest. And truth be told, it really is an amazing book. Each character has such a distinct voice — and we jump around rather a lot. Some of them seem completely irrelevant, telling a piece of the story that could have easily been told by someone else and therefore reduced the cast of characters. But then, I realised that each and every character has something important to say.

It reflects the real world — Burgess even says so himself in a foreword: This is based on real stories, real events, and real people. I had to put it down about half way through. I do some pretty awful things to my own characters. Characters are never given an introduction. They just randomly show up. Time jumps forward in increments from a few minutes to a few months.

I could never keep in my head how old they were. Eventually you could figure everything out. The other characters dance around the edges giving us their point of view when all I really want to do is read more about how Gem and Tar are fucking up their lives. I suppose I take one star off a five star rating because that promise never came to be. I was disappointed.

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