Fiction – paperback; Penguin; 401 pages; 2001.
Toby Litt‘s deadkidsongs is a dark, macabre novel about a group of four boys, known as Gang, growing up in rural England during the 1970s. The boys plot the downfall of an elderly couple in their village, blaming them for the death of one of the gang members.
As a revenge tale it is both strangely fascinating but deeply appalling. It reveals a world in which childhood allegiances can mean the difference between life and death, where petty grievances are elevated to all-consuming violence and innocence is virtually nonexistent.
Through clever and imaginative use of language and narrative, Litt has captured perfectly the bonds between children and their warped sense of justice. deadkidsongs is a deeply disturbing yet totally compelling read.