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Always the Sun Hardcover – Oct 2004
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"Brilliantly and sympathetically written, it will strike cold fear into the heart of every parent." --"Daily Mail" "Filled with moments of powerful empathy . . . contrasted with moments of heart-sinking savagery, Cross's writing is relentlessly absorbing." --"The Big Issue" "Cross's grimly readable novel settles into a parent's nightmares and ties apprehensive knots in the reader's stomach." --"The Guardian" "Cross persuasively depicts the subtle drama of family life and gently builds up three-dimensional characters." --"The Observer" "Set to be his most successful yet . . . harrowing but gripping." --"Time Out London" "A meaty, tautly-drawn tale that is both menacing and darkly powerful." --"The Herald" "A gripping journey to the limits of paternal emotions." --"The Mail on Sunday" "Magnificent."--Tibor Fischer
Brilliantly and sympathetically written, it will strike cold fear into the heart of every parent. "Daily Mail" Filled with moments of powerful empathy... contrasted with moments of heart-sinking savagery, Cross s writing is relentlessly absorbing. "The Big Issue" Cross s grimly readable novel settles into a parent s nightmares and ties apprehensive knots in the reader s stomach. "The Guardian" Cross persuasively depicts the subtle drama of family life and gently builds up three-dimensional characters. "The Observer" Set to be his most successful yet... harrowing but gripping. "Time Out London" A meaty, tautly-drawn tale that is both menacing and darkly powerful. "The Herald" A gripping journey to the limits of paternal emotions. "The Mail on Sunday" Magnificent. Tibor Fischer" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Neil Cross (b. 1969) is a British novelist and screenwriter best known as the creator of the multiple-award-winning international hit BBC crime series "Luther," starring Idris Elba, and the international hit horror movie "Mama." His highly acclaimed memoir, "Heartland," was shortlisted for the PEN/Ackerley Prize in 2006. Cross has also written several thrillers, including "Captured," "Holloway Falls," and "Always the Sun," which was longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize. Cross continues to write for TV and film in the United Kingdom and the United States. He lives with his wife and two sons in Wellington, New Zealand. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Basic plot is Sam a man who recently lost his wife, along with his 13 year old son Jamie, decide to move from London to a bigger cheaper house in an English country town where Sam grew up. Jamie only agrees to the new house if he can have the master room. Sam being a spineless father with no parenting skills does this, along with whatever else Jamie insists on. Sam has no control of Jamie at all, Jamie only listens to his aunt and basically treats his father like dirt. Jamie also doesn't like going to school, so when Sam is told his son will be kicked out but hey, maybe its not all his fault, Sam should maybe ask him about this other kid at school, Sam jumps into cotton wool parent mode. Stupidly he decides to confront the father at his workplace telling him to bring his brat into line. Understandably the father isn't impressed and tells him so, Sam then decides to have a go at the bully in a pub toilet which is where the situation escalates into Sam's vendetta in his son's name against this well liked town family.
It's not just Sam however who is a weak character, so is his son Jamie. You can understand why this kid had no friends at school (when he decided to go that is) and became a target for the bully. In fact he shows later when out riding his bike and encountering the bully's brother that he is in fact just as big a bully as the bully (although he does get his comeuppance from that victim's best friend) when given the opportunity. This is where the story gets so ridiculous, the father now should know what his son is, so why he would go down the ridiculous angle he did, plus it was pretty obvious from that encounter that the bullying would have been pretty much over anyway as Jamie had been more humiliated by his own actions than anything the bully could do at school. Of course though the father's got to keep igniting the fire.
The only redeeming thing for the storyline which lifts my rating slightly is the ending. Justice prevailed in the end with everyone getting exactly what they deserved as a result of their actions.
And what's with the title, is it a typo, is Sun supposed to be Son? Got nothing to do with the big ball of fire in space throughout the entire novel.
One example of the many enlightening passages in this novel...