Darkly funny, strangely moving, and completely riveting, Martyn Pig is a powerful debut novel from a talented British author. Martyn Pig is a boy trapped in a miserable world with a terrible name. His mother has left home and his father is a pathetic, bullying, self-pitying drunk. Did I hate him? He was a drunken slob and he treated me like dirt. ...
Darkly funny, strangely moving, and completely riveting, Martyn Pig is a powerful debut novel from a talented British author. Martyn Pig is a boy trapped in a miserable world with a terrible name. His mother has left home and his father is a pathetic, bullying, self-pitying drunk. Did I hate him? He was a drunken slob and he treated me like dirt. What do you think? Of course I hated him. You would have hated him, too, if you'd ever met him...I hated every inch of him. From his broken-veined, red-nosed face to his dirty, stinking feet. I hated his beery guts. But I never meant to kill him. With his father lying dead at his feet, Martyn Pig has two choices - he can either tell the police what happened, that it was an accident, or he can get rid of the body and pretend to get on with the rest of his life. He decides on the latter and with the help of Alex, a girl who has become more to him than just-a-friend, he travels down a frightening road where the escalating lunacy of events is quite breathtaking. Brilliantly paced and plotted, this is an accidental, back to front, murder mystery. The characters and environment are powerfully realised and Martyn's internal dialogue is both and authentic and thought-provoking with shades of Holden Caulfield. This compelling book will make you laugh out loud from sheer nervousness at the madness of it all. It's a cracker
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-05-27 Like its eponymous hero, British author Brooks's self-assured debut manages to be at once hard-boiled, wide-eyed and despite its downright grisly subject matter laugh-aloud funny. When Martyn Pig accidentally kills his slovenly and abusive alcoholic father several days before Christmas, he decides not to call the authorities: he is afraid the police won't believe him and, besides, he doesn't want his aunt given custody of him. An avid reader of murder mysteries, he instead works with his next-door neighbor (and secret crush), the aspiring actress Alex, first to hide the death, then dispose of the body. As if the plot weren't already thick, Martyn soon discovers that his father recently inherited a handsome sum of money. Just when it seems that Martyn is coolly transforming himself into a junior version of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley, the story takes another hairpin turn. The crisp, perceptive storytelling, like the works of writers Martyn admires (Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie), indirectly but unmistakably raises moral questions. One minor frustration: although the novel is set in England, inconsistent editing has sprinkled the landscape with disorienting Americanizations (e.g., Martin scrounges up "a dollar here, fifty cents there" for bus fare and shops at a CVS drugstore). Happily, these discrepancies don't dim the substantial pleasures of this satisfying and oddly buoyant story. Ages 10-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2003-03-31 In a starred review, PW called this novel about a boy who accidentally kills his slovenly and abusive alcoholic father (and decides not to call the authorities) "hard-boiled, wide eyed and laugh-aloud funny." Ages 10-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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