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The Illumination Of Merton Browne

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  38 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
'The Illumination of Merton Browne' is a powerful and disturbing first novel about growing up and the power of education to distort, transform and illuminate.
Unknown Binding, 297 pages
Published November 3rd 2008 by Not Avail (first published July 1st 2008)
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JackieB
May 24, 2011 JackieB rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is a novel about a teenager living on an innercity estate. His school is awful, his home life worse. He joins a gang as there seems to be no other choice open to him and does some dreadful things. Through luck he has the chance to make a better life for himself, but a lot of the drama of the book is based around whether he can make the right choices in order to take that chance. It doesn't pull any punches and is quite violent in places. It explores how Merton is the product of his upbringi ...more
CuteBadger
Apr 04, 2011 CuteBadger rated it it was ok
A teenage boy from a difficult background grows up in a deprived and violent area of London and is pulled between the call of the streets and the benefits education can bring.

For some readers this will be the book that has everything - bullying, violence, sex and bad language - for others it will all be a bit too much.

It's certainly "grim down south", so most of the novel is unrelentintly depressing. The end is intended to demonstrate hope for Merton's future, but, like the other sections of th
...more
Sally Whitehead
It would be easy to label this fascinating novel as a contemporary, urban, gritty "Lord of the Flies" (it's impossible NOT to draw comparisons) but it's much more than this. It delivered everything I had expected it to from the blurb; estates, gangs, domestic violence, drugs and poverty, but it is also a novel about love, poetry, history, socio-political philosophy and education. An incredibly well written, intelligent book which really pleasantly surprised me.
Anne
Nov 09, 2007 Anne rated it really liked it
I read this for the Waterstones Book Group. It's very different from my 'usual' read but strangely compelling. A coming of age novel about a young lad from a sink estate who loves books and reading. It's very graphic, violent, lots of sex and in places totally unbelieveable. I did find it difficult to put down and wanted to know what happened. I will look forward to the discussions on Waterstones about this one
Abigail
Oct 21, 2010 Abigail rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, although it wasn't what I would usually choose and I can't believe it isn't more popular. In summary, a strangely heartwarming story of violence, drugs and the odd riot on a council estate!
Phillip
Jan 24, 2011 Phillip rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A surprising page turner as we follow the main charachter Merton Browne and his attempts to escape from a life of crime, gangs and inner city poverty.
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