14 March 2012

Pig Boy

by J C Burke

Woolshed Press. Australian, Young Adult. Paperback RRP $18.95

Pig Boy is a very confronting book. While I was reading it, a bullied school boy in the United States walked into his classroom and opened fire. It was eerily resonant. Could Damon Styles’ end up like this boy in the US?
Damon Styles is in his last year at school in the small country town of Strathven, where everybody knows everybody’s business. Damon has been bullied his whole high school life and taunted with the nickname of Damoink. He is intelligent but fat. He wins literary awards but the Principal never acknowledges him. He loves playing violent on-line video games but has trouble shooting a real weapon. He has anger issues with nearly the whole town.
Could he kill for revenge?

Damon’s eighteenth birthday starts badly and by lunchtime he has been expelled from school. What happens next will change Damon’s life. What did Damon stumble upon? And is there someone who knows what Damon saw?  
With paranoia setting in, Damon comes up with a plan. He knows what he has to do. First, he needs to make a list.

                TO-DO LIST
·         Google for info
·         Check newspapers etc
·         Get a padlock
·         Look into renewing firearms licence – book safety course, call rifle club re rejoining and course availability
·         Visit Pigman about a job

With no-one to turn to and no-one to trust, Damon is forced to take matters into his own hands.  
But when his careful planning begins to unravel, there is someone unexpected there to help him after all.

Pig Boy is a riveting read. The first half of the book builds Damon’s character looking back at what he has endured all his life. The second half of the book goes at a flying pace that before you realise, you are at the end and your heart has been beating double time and you desperately need to come up for air. A twisted story with a fantastic climax.

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