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Jongen A

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,016 ratings  ·  133 reviews
A is for Apple. A bad apple.? Jack has spent most of his life in juvenile institutions, to be released with a new name, new job, new life. At 24, he is utterly innocent of the world, yet guilty of a monstrous childhood crime. To his new friends, he is a good guy with occasional flashes of unexpected violence. To his new girlfriend, he is strangely inexperienced and unreach ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published November 5th 2008 by Ailantus (first published May 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,526)
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Nancy
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

If I hadn’t come across Mariel's review, I’d probably never have found out about this chilling story. To my surprise, it won multiple literary awards and was adapted to film. I really need to get out from under my rock more often.

Boy A is Jack, newly released from prison for the brutal killing of a young girl. He was a child himself when the crime occurred. Now he is 24 years old and trying to adjust to a world that has passed him by while he was imprisoned.

This story
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Mariel
Jun 19, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mobs
Recommended to Mariel by: the movie
This isn't a spoiler tag but a longwinded tag. (I'm embarrassed tag.)

Words are not my first emotional language. I'll think without words and later try to come up with some that fit what I was feeling, if enough of it sticks by me through the thickness and thinness. The way I understand (assuming I understand what I believe I understand) things is feeling out what people mean based on whatever I can get out of posture, tone, facial movements, eyes that don't smile, spaces between words and silen
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Mike Puma
Sometimes, award committees get it right—often they don’t. The Pulitzer committee may leave you puzzled; the Caldecott or Newbery committees do what they must to arrive at some sort of consensus (often the lack of consensus is apparent in the staggering number of Honor books they also award). With Boy A, the 2004 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the 2005 Waverton Good Read Award committees got it right.

Told with a relentless dread, the novel presents the story of a damaged youth (Boy A) as a steady
...more
Jasmine
Aug 30, 2008 Jasmine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone on the planet
Shelves: british
Okay I went back and took stars off some of my other reviews because this is one of those pieces of art that reminds you that most people are not hitting the ideal. Yes art is subjective, but somethings seem to just have something special that other pieces don't have. This is one of those pieces. Out of five stars I give it 7 and 1/2.

This book has a format that makes it flow. Instead of a few long chapters there are a lot of short chapters named for the letters of the alphabet such as A is for
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Amanda Says
Hello there FEELINGS, how are you today?

I was ready to give this two stars until the 50% mark. The story moved along a little too slowly for me, a little too haphazardly. Sure, the characters were, maybe great isn't the right word, but intriguing. Ever so intriguing. Still, I thought, this will probably two stars. Man, was I wrong.

Boy A will be on my top reads of 2015. I'm considering bumping up my rating to five stars. Because that last half. Emotions. Scattered all over the place. I'm not sor
...more
Barbara Elsborg
What a book! A heart rending story of a young man released from prison after a horrendous crime (did he do it or not?) and how he copes with life outside. The way the book is written - with sections set in the past - made sure the reader gradually became aware of Jack's past and the actual crime. I liked the background info, I like the labelling of the chapters, I liked the different points of view. I did feel though that Jack had a voice beyond his years. Yes, his manner was of a boy who'd only ...more
Viki Johnson
It was an interesting idea. Sort of, though the author denied it, based on the murder of Jamie Bulger in the early 1990s by two young teenagers. Was their horrific crime nature or nurture, can imprisonment really be the best way to deal with the actions of a child. I really wanted this book to provide some thoughtful and deep insight in what he imagined had happened, and what it might be like to emerge from prison, entering as a young boy, leaving as a man? I was hugely disappointed. It was an e ...more
Jackie Molloy
It mirrors the tragic story of Jamie Bulger. We meet Jack as he is released back in to society secretly after spending all his young life in institutions and prisons. He is supported by the child like faith his support officer, Terry, has in him to be a functioning member of society. Everything is difficult for Jack as he hasn’t had a life yet and he suddenly has a freedom to experience what for others are ordinary things. Of course, inevitably events catch up with him and through the unrelentin ...more
Ryan Robinson
Boy A by Jonathan Trigell

Book review by Ryan Robinson

Why I decided to read the book?

Don't judge a book by its cover? Oops. I did. It was good choice though, because the cover to me was simple yet effective, interesting and cool. The picture reminded me of Blackpool in England, because I have seen Blackpool on documentaries and football shows a lot of times, and it looked like a cool place with its attractions. I decided to read Boy A, because it was different to most of the books I usually read.
...more
Lindsay
"Given the challenging subject matter, Boy A is a surprisingly easy book to read. Jonathan Trigell's prose is literary, poetic in places, always compelling and never obstructive. Jack, the Boy A of the title, is the central figure of the book but throughout its 26 chapters, Trigell explores the lives of the people around him, from those who helped shape him into the man he is at the novel's beginning, and those he meets during his new life outside prison. Jack is an immensely sympathetic charact ...more
Phil
This book was recommended to me by a couple of members of my family (the same books have a habit of being passed around!). And I did enjoy it. But I didn’t love it.
The story line is fascinating and reflects the life of one of the Jamie Bulger killers from the early 90’s. This was in real life a brutal murder of a toddler committed by 2 boys of age circa 12. I understand this was reported on around the world but certainly in the UK, there was much hysteria and a number of laws and practices in th
...more
Kelly
I seem to be the only person who really didn't like this book. There were so many technical problems and other instances of "bad writing" that it seems like no one edited it. For example, the author changed his point of view too often, putting us in the minds of unnecessary characters (like Elizabeth, the psychologist) and not enough in Jack's mind for me to get very involved in his story. The book is full of cliches and metaphors that are unbelievable coming from someone who's spent his whole l ...more
M
I was hooked by this book from the first page. I cared about Boy A instantly, and my sympathy towards him just kept growing as I kept reading which, considering his background, is a sign of some first-class writing! The book is lean and pacy, with a cracking ending, and all of the characters are well-drawn and interesting. The writing sparkled and there were some really thought-provoking observations. It's a book that stays with you, and I didn't want it to end and was rooting for Boy A, regardl ...more
Isabelle Geurinckx
Okay, this is a great book and it is perfectly written. So why 2 stars?
Well, I had to read this for school, and those kind of books aren't my style at all.
I don't like drama stories with kids that commited murder and suicide. I never read those kind of novels, because I don't really like the subject. But I read it for my English class

The story is about Jack (Child A). Him and his friend killed the little Angela when he was about 12 years old. They then go to prison and are confronted with the co
...more
Kathryn
I couldn't finish this book. I would have loved to be able to love this book. It has some amazing reviews, but sadly I just couldn't get in to it. I don't know why it had a story line that has clearly interested many people but for some reason I just didn't find it entertaining. Maybe I will try to read it again some day.
Megan
Full disclosure: I'm on a huge Andrew Garfield kick right now, and wanted to do a movie marathon. I just so happen to also be a person who does not enjoy watching the movie adaptation of a book first. Therefore, I have been using my "free" time to read the books before watching the films.

I had heard good things about the film Boy A, and was excited to check the book out. It did not let me down. I originally gave the book 4.5 stars, but after watching the movie, I found even more respect for the
...more
Ametista
A e B sono due bambini respinti dalle ostilità dei rapporti che si instaurano tra bambini, sono due tasselli difficili da collocare la cui non appartenenza ad un gruppo li induce ad un'inevitabile unione.
A e B trovano un equilibrio perfetto, insieme sono una fortezza inespugnabile.
Dietro le due lettere non si celano i resti dei nomi dei due bambini ma delle identità tenute anonime.
Le lettere sono il simbolo di un futuro che necessità salvezza, che sia una redenzione per il male fatto.
Quando A
...more
Janis Robson
i wasnt sure about reading this book but am a gteat believer about not having an opinion till i read something. No doubt about it it was a very disturbing read but one i had to read to the end nit everyones cup of tea
Annemariem
Jack is in his twenties, and has led no normal life until now. He has just been released from prison, where he has spent his entire puberty locked up for the most awful crime: murder of a girl when he was just twelve. Once out of prison he has to learn to live, but under the shadow of fear of discovery. A girlfriend, his first pint, his first male friendships, everything is magical and new to him. Until...

Loved this book. It reminded me strongly of As If, by Blake Morrisson; the account of the
...more
Sara Comuzzo
non conoscevo trigger fino a qualche giorno fa. sono come sempre stata attratta dalla copertina della isbn.
non avevo neanche letto la trama. ho aperto il libro a caso e quello che leggevo velocemente mi piaceva. preso dalla biblioteca. letto in 2 giorni.

è un libro scomodo. la storia di un baby assassino che esce di prigione. il nome fittizio: Jack. Jack che ha 24 anni e praticamente non conosce il mondo visto che ha passato la sua intera infanzia in carcere.
Jack che ora deve vivere in quello ste
...more
Serena!
E' un libro crudele e doloroso da far male, come un pugno nello stomaco.
E' un libro che mi fa sentire fortunata e ringraziare per ogni sciocchezza che possiedo.
E' un libro che mi ha scosso profondamente: per me esiste il bianco o il nero, nessuna sfumatura nel mezzo.. E quindi MAI avrei potuto pensare di provare pietà, tristezza e dolore per i due bambini, BOY A e BOY B, che non hanno èiù diritto nemmeno ad un nome.
Se avessi letto la notizia su un giornale (Il libro si ispira infatti ad un orr
...more
Elizabeth
This book was incredibly heart-wrenching from start to finish. I just wanted so badly for Jack to have a second chance in life and I felt his longing for love and companionship. But the author does not let you forget about all the obstacles in his way of being 'normal' after prison, which I suppose are all part of the consequences of committing a childhood murder. And of course, the media play a strong role in this book, giving it another level of controversy.

I also enjoyed the writing style as
...more
VAle
Sono rimasta molto sorpresa dalla scoperta che questo libro e Avete visto JJ? sono usciti lo stesso anno (2004).
Sorpresa perchè ho cercato le date di pubblicazione originale per capire chi avesse copiato chi.
Dalle primissime pagine e per tutto il libro ho avuto una sensazione di dejà-vu, non solo per la coincidenza dell'argomento (minore omicida in cerca di redenzione con una nuova identità), ma anche per le modalità e lo stile con cui viene trattato.
Ed è soprattutto lo stile che non mi è piaciu
...more
Rachel
Boy A touches a subject that not many are willing to explore or even think about. Even reading the book is a difficult journey, as I found out after I (stupidly) decided to read the ending before I started the book (I HAD to know, right?).
The book itself does a good job of exploring the imagined scenario of a released murderer trying to crawl his way back into society, while explaining the steps he and others created that placed him in prison in the first place. The novel is hard, gritty; it ne
...more
Lena
I wish I could find a way to adequately convey my love for this book without sounding like a gushing groupie. But, I can't, so I'll soldier on with my groupie flag flying.

What can I say other than this book is amazing. I can't begin to say how amazing it is in a short review, and I'm a fair hand at wordplay. I'll do my inadequate best.

Trigell takes the story of Jack, a newly-released-from prison, twenty-something convicted child murderer--as in, he was a child when convicted of murder (the vict
...more
Julie
Okay so this is my first review I hope I don't suck at it :P

I already saw the movie, and absolutely loved it, so I decided to go and read the book.
Some things that were not present in the movie made this reading interesting, we get a glimpse of the life of Jack's father after the trial for example, there's also a chapter focused on Terry's son, Michelle has a chapter as well, and more… Whereas the movie was solely focused on Jack, his struggle, his psychology. So in that sense it was interestin
...more
Virginia
A very well constructed, well written look at the life of the young offender. Although there is a time shift, and towards the end we hear other characters' points of view, the focus is on the period post release as the boy, now adult, struggles to build a new life out of the shadows of his crime.

Trigell gives us just enough about the boy's childhood and the years in prison. He avoids plotting a heavy handed back story, which would turn the 'did he or didn't he' question into the only issue, or
...more
Misty Gilbuena
After watching the film, I just knew I had to read the book. I just really, REALLY had to.

Quick shoutout to this good buddy of mine who promised to get me a copy and actually did. You are awesome.

This book broke my heart. In a good way. In the book we get to feel what the characters felt, and read their thoughts, and we got to know them better than we did from the film.

Everything was thoroughly disturbing. It's the kind of book that makes that makes you want to go all the way because you have kn
...more
Elizabeth
Jun 25, 2011 Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the phrase, "I saw that coming from a mile away"
Shelves: 2011
The chapters in this book are all part of the alphabet: A is for Apple. A bad apple. or my favorite, Q is for Queen. Pleasuring her majesty. Very clever indeed and they go from A to Z. The book follows the participant in a juvenile crime as he tries to start his life over. Most of the book is told from the perspective of Boy A aka Jack with only a few chapters giving voices to other characters.

We don't know what the crime is, it is doled out in alternating chapters with the present. We do know
...more
Lorna
Is it really possible for someone who has committed a dreadful crime as a child to be given a fresh start into adult life after prison? It's a question, of course, that has been debated whenever such a crime has hit the headlines - whether it's Mary Bell, Thompson and Venables, or the anonymous boys who recently tortured two young lads in Doncaster.

This novel, written after - and doubtless influenced by - the notorious killing of James Bulger, was dramatised on television in 2007, and was a powe
...more
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898572
Jonathan Trigell is a British author. His first novel, entitled Boy A, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2004, the Waverton Good Read Award and the inaugural World Book Day Prize in 2008.

Jonathan completed an MA in creative writing at Manchester University in 2002. He spent most winters in Alps working in the Ski Industry and now lives in Chamonix, France.

Boy A is the story of a child criminal rel
...more
More about Jonathan Trigell...
Genus Cham The Tongues of Men or Angels

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“The shark's just a shark, right? No one calls it Jaws. It doesn't call itself Jaws. The film is called Jaws, the shark is just a fucking shark. So how can you say, "I like the bit where Jaws bites the boat"?” 3 likes
“Si ricordava, ai tempi del processo, come tutti quelli che conosceva erano rimasti sconvolti al pensiero di cosa sarebbe stato avere una figlia uccisa in quel modo. Così brutale, insensato, malvagio. Nessuno si era fermato a pensare invece, a cosa sarebbe stato avere un figlio che era l'assassino. E' per questo che i due dovevano per forza essere malvagi, essere diversi: altri, demoni. Non potevano essere quello che un bambino normale sarebbe potuto diventare, nelle stesse circostanze.” 1 likes
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