Hooligan, London, 1986
The blurb on the back:
'This most astonishing new book is one of the most enjoyable reads that I have experienced for a long time. I feel sure that this up and coming author is a strong contender for the Booker Prize if not canonisation.' - Graham Greene
First things first: the atmosphere of this book is fantastic. Those quotes on the back, the 'free to shoplifters' price tag, the publishing information '©1986 (except to anarchists)' - it's all great.
And the story ain't a bad idea: a clash between a self-organized working class (within a loose syndicalist union) defending a CoOp against the armies of the Establishment, with a style that aims more for the apocalyptic feel of Mad Max than the considered precision of Orwell or even the documentary tone of The Angry Brigade. Unfortunately, judged as a piece of writing rather than as political soapboxing, it leaves the mustard very definitely uncut.
If the British film industry had any balls, it'd be optioning this book.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 4/5