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Feral Youth | [Polly Courtney]

Feral Youth

The truth is, it ain't just a race thing. They talk like it is, but really and truly it's black against white, young against old, authorities against the rest. It's countless of things. There's bare reasons for feeling vexed right now. Growing up on a south London estate and excluded from every school that would take her, Alesha is the poster girl for the nation's 'feral youth'.
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Publisher's Summary

The truth is, it ain't just a race thing. They talk like it is, but really and truly it's black against white, young against old, authorities against the rest. It's countless of things. There's bare reasons for feeling vexed right now.

Growing up on a south London estate and excluded from every school that would take her, Alesha is the poster girl for the nation's 'feral youth'. When a young teacher makes an unexpected reappearance in the 15-year-old's life, opening the door to a world of salaries, pianos and middle-class housemates, Alesha's instinct is to pull up her hood and return to the streets. But fuelled by a need to survive, she falls into a cycle of crime, violence and drug-dealing, her one true ally deserting her when she needs him most. While everyone around her is rallying against the authorities in a war of haves and have-nots, Alesha finds herself caught in the crossfire, inextricably linked to the people she is trying to fight against. Can she see a way out? And as riots sweep the nation, whose side will she take?

©2013 Polly Courtney (P)2013 The Copyright Group

What the Critics Say

"A breakthrough book… Alesha is compelling, even loveable. In the choices she has to make, she raises some uncomfortable questions about this abandoned generation of poor, semi-literate, 'feral' youth." (Independent on Sunday)

“Feral Youth is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Emotionally charged throughout I instantly felt a connection to the disenfranchised protagonist.” (Creative Bloc)

“If you want to understand why so many young people took to the streets two summers ago, read this book.” (Sonya Thomas, Reading the Riots)

“Feral Youth is as compelling as it is horrifying. It lifts the lid on the lives of marginalised young people that the media demonises and the rest of us prefer to ignore.” (Fiona Bawdon, journalist)

“Courtney’s latest book gives an insight into the young lives of generation recession, revealing the riots as inevitable and a long-time-coming.” (The Student Journals)

What Members Say


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Katharine
    watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
    8/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should be essential reading for all politicians"
    What made the experience of listening to Feral Youth the most enjoyable?

    Really enjoyed the book. Finished it in less than a day!!From a social point of view it is in my opinion an accurate description of the of the 'have and have nots'. As a story it is well written, original and well read.


    Which character – as performed by Deanna Rodger – was your favourite?

    Alisha


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Was not sure about choosing the book- I work with young people and I like to listen to books that can be uplifting and I wasn't expecting this to be.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David Brown
    Guildford UK
    1/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful, authentic, edifying"
    What made the experience of listening to Feral Youth the most enjoyable?

    The material of the book was wonderful, very educational for me and very gripping. And Deanna Rodger reads it marvellously - it must be the best reading of any Audible book I've bought.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alesha. It is not often you fall so much in love with a character, but Alesha is complex and brilliantly formed and is the kind of character that you miss and worry about when you're not reading the book.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    There's nothing jolly in this book but many scenes were gripping.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Dark emotions - it was frightening, worrying, riveting. Possibly there could have been more moments of humour juxtaposed with the grit, because in some books the comic relief can be welcome but can also heighten the drama either side of it.


    Any additional comments?

    It has made me think about our society differently, about the London riots, about different moral values. It's the kind of book you think about for a long, long time after reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    London, United Kingdom
    9/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "That's how it all kicked off"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Feral Youth to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but I really enjoyed the audiobook. The narration is brilliant and the story is just so real and honest. I utterly enjoyed this audiobook.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Feral Youth?

    When she realised that she could do better, that she could have a normal live like most of the people in London, that she could break out of the Peckham crew and start living her own life.


    What does Deanna Rodger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The language. Even though the book is written in English the kids nowadays speak a different language. The narration is really authentic and it makes you feel like you're out on the streets of South London.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This audiobook made me realise! It made me realise that the world we live in is not as bright and shiny for all of us, it's actually pretty gloomy for people who're not as fortunate as the majority of us.


    Any additional comments?

    Feral Youth is a brilliant book! The narration is brilliant and totally authentic (even though it took me a few chapters to learn the language and understand what she was saying). Feral Youth makes one understand how the riots in London could happen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pete__S
    England
    9/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lit-Grit is born"
    What made the experience of listening to Feral Youth the most enjoyable?

    the actor, hands down. I read the book to 67% then saw it was released. She brought the book alive in so many ways. She nailed it, not only with Alisha's voice but with the rest of the cast. At times it almost sounded poetic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alisha, of course.


    Have you listened to any of Deanna Rodger’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I haven't yet, but I will when I can find them.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There's always a reason.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a special book. There are some books out there that have been described as genre defining. I have now learnt what that means. In fact, I’d go as far to say that Polly Courtney has invented a new genre, ‘Lit Grit’. The research and interviews that Courtney must have done for this book have certainly paid off. I’m so pleased that this author has gone back to her roots and written a damn good novel based on facts and lives that she's gone out and found.

    The voice of Aleisha will stay with me. Her life and that of the others on her estate is something that we don't get to see much of here in Northamptonshire, but knowing there are such struggles going on in the UK will make me look at the policies of the political parties more carefully next time we go to vote.

    I've learnt alot from this book, it's also confirmed to me that, Courtney, left to her own devices, can write a bloody good story.


    I bought this in paperback and once I’d finished the audiobook came out, so I got that and listened to it again, the actor reading the book is fantastic.


    Thanks for the Journey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Eastbourne, United Kingdom
    8/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must read of the year..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend this book to everyone. Would recommend as compulsory text book for English Lit curriculum. Gave me great insight into a world I know very little about. If you know anyone on the margins of society, disenfranchised youth, mentally ill, drug users, it speaks all of their stories.
    Incredibly well researched, cannot belief it was written by a white middle class woman, well done you Polly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As an almost docu-drama of life leading up to the London riots, all the characters are brilliant. They challenged me, and took me way beyond my comfort zone, and allowed me to dis all the stereotypes the media would have us believe.


    What about Deanna Rodger’s performance did you like?

    Everything - the narration made it REAL...


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Ra, rage and riots - it's all real.


    Any additional comments?

    The language is wonderful...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • daryl
    Barcelona, Spain
    8/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "At last someone has really said it"
    Would you listen to Feral Youth again? Why?

    It was highligted sugguest to me on Audiable. I wanted to hear a story from my own youthful background and the sypnoises explained this.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How the author studied Alesiha its like she had also come from a similar background and told a very true story


    Which character – as performed by Deanna Rodger – was your favourite?

    JJ as he was typical of a lad whom wants to belong when they have no family. Titch as he was also typical of a lad like him


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When she was raped and how she kept inside until she felt she had nothng else to lose.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone whom did not understand the reasons of Riots in 2011 should read this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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