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Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
Book review: A Kestrel for a Knave 
13th-Jan-2010 10:30 pm
Sutherlavatar
Barry Hines' A Kestrel for a Knave is best known as the source material for the film Kes, in fact my copy is one of the Penguin Classics given away by The Times last year, and the theme it appeared under was "films." Taking place in a single day in the late 1960s, it's the story of a teenage boy in a Yorkshire mining town, bullied by everyone from his brother to his schoolmates to his teachers, and finding release only in training Kes, a kestrel hawk. It's pretty much the definition of "it's grim up North" as Billy seems to live a joyless life with no hope of a better future, so it's a pretty depressing read, made less hard-going by Hines' rather poetic prose. Very interesting to me though from a modern point of view is the adults' constant refrain that the kids are growing up wild because of bad influences on TV - a nice reminder if anyone nowadays launches a similar speech, that the more things change the more they stay the same.
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