Newest Review: ... things to themselves or others or take terrible risks which they scarcely acknowledge to be risks' (Stephens, in Montgomery Watson 2009, p... more
JUNK is definately a treasure to be discovered!
Junk - Melvin Burgess
Member Name: gemmamets
Junk - Melvin Burgess
Advantages: An honest, down to earth fiction book about drug addiction.
Disadvantages: none in my opinion
I first read this book when I was fourteen years old and I was completely blown away by it. I have since read it again recently and it still manages to impact me in a truly astounding way. The best thing about this book is that it is as relevant today as it was twelve years ago when I first read it.
The plot is relatively simple, and yet the complexity of the characters and their situation makes this book what it is.
The main characters are Tar (David) and Gemma. They are teenagers who each have their own issues and find solace in each other. Tar is badly beaten by his father, and slaves away daily to help and protect his alcoholic Mother. Gemma is a complete contrast; although her family life is relatively normal she feels misunderstood and as many teenagers has a rebellious streak. The two characters complement each other beautifully and the relationship is interesting from the beginning.
When Tar runs away from home, Gemma decides she will go along for the ride. What is a real break for Tar initially is a bit of fun for Gemma... but things become serious as they end up heavenly involved in a life of squatting, theft and drugs and ultimately become hooked on Heroin. Of course we meet many other wildly complex characters along the way.
The thing which makes this book so wonderful is the brutal honesty of the writer. Burgess does not skirt around any issue; whether that be drugs, teenage prostitution or under age sex. He writes in an easy to read, yet profound way which totally engrosses the reader into the lives of these characters. He also writes in first person, swapping the narrator between Tar, Gemma and a few others. This helps the reader to truly identify with each character and empathise and relate to them all.
All in all I believe this to be one of the best books I have ever read. It is effortlessly and beautifully written and I recommend everyone to give it a try
Summary: You have to read Junk; you really do not feel like you are reading fiction!