In Skinheads, John King takes us inside skinhead culture today and explains how it never really went away.Skinheads is the story of a way of life, told through three generations of a family: Terry English, original ska-loving skinhead and boss of a mini-cab firm; Nutty Ray, street-punk skin and active football hooligan; and Lol, son of Terry, nephew of Ray, a fifteen-year-In Skinheads, John King takes us inside skinhead culture today and explains how it never really went away.Skinheads is the story of a way of life, told through three generations of a family: Terry English, original ska-loving skinhead and boss of a mini-cab firm; Nutty Ray, street-punk skin and active football hooligan; and Lol, son of Terry, nephew of Ray, a fifteen-year-old kid just starting out. Terry is sick and not sure he’s going to make his fiftieth birthday, but is kept going by his music, his lovely mod-girl assistant Angie, and his discovery of the abandoned Union Jack Club, which he decides to clean up and re-open. Ray, meanwhile, is out driving mini-cabs and struggling to control his anger; his only release — days out with Chelsea’s finest. But when he takes the law into his own hands in an explosion of righteous violence, his future starts to darken. John King’s seventh novel draws on nearly forty years of evolving British culture. The skinheads didn’t die off: the look went mainstream and their music was accepted and reinvented, while the boys themselves keep misbehaving in the traditional ways. Challenging society’s fears and prejudices, Skinheads shows us a group of truly humane characters driven by passion and honour and the culture they love. This is their story....
|Number of Pages||:||304 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
This is the story of Terry English, it’s the story of skinhead culture as a way of life. This is not the usual story focussing on the late 1970's/early 1980's fascist/far right skinhead movement – but rather more what became of the ‘spirit of 69’ – born very much out of the original skinhead youth culture, itself born out of the original mod or modernist and rude boy subcultures preceding it.‘Skinheads’ is John King at his very best – it’s a story of life, of youth culture becoming mainstream, of growing up, to an extent of a ‘revolt into style’ – whilst at the same time – it’s all about keeping the faith and keeping true to the original culture. It is both compelling and engaging, it’s a great story very well written. ‘Skinheads’ is both gritty and authentic and pulls no punches, as you’d expect from the pen of John King – however the violence in the context of its setting, is neither gratuitous nor unnecessary.‘Skinheads’ is the story of three generations of one family, but central to everything is Terry English – the ‘original ska loving skinhead’.This is Terry’s story, ‘This is England’, This is John King’s ‘Skinheads’. Highly recommended.
This was the best novel I have ever read about skinheads, period. Sure, some others were very good, but this is the first and only to really treat them as HUMAN and to almost completely and solely focus on the traditional, non-racist skinhead culture. Every other skinhead book I have read -- with the exception of the Richard Allen books, which focus on a cartoonish ultra-violence -- have a conflict between racist skins and trad skins at the heart. This doesn't. It is simply the story of three generations of one family, headed by Terry English, an original 60s ska-loving skin. It tells his battles with an illness, his grieving for his lost wife, his concerns for his son and his general good nature. It is the story of his nephew Ray, whose temper and anger have him on the outs with his wife and how he struggles.But above all else, it is a story about people. Simple and moving. Best skinhead novel ever.
Ever the embodiment of modern British culture, John King has once again woven England and all things therein with a startlingly human, blindingly sharp story about family and homeland. The narrative follows three generations of English skinheads: Terry, an aging club owner just on his way out of the scene; Ray, Terry's nephew, a middle-aged father trying desperately to suppress the violence of his past, and Lol, Terry's son, a fifteen-year-old just coming on to the scene. One of the central themes of the book is the classic idea of what a skinhead is: not the neo-fascists of today, but rather the ska- and reggae-influenced street punks of late 60s England. As he did in the last book of his I read, John King makes the Greater London area, the city of Slough in particular, come to life with the kind of proletariat charm only he can truly craft.Several looping plots carve through the narrative; each of the main characters has their own struggle in the book (most notably Terry's battle with cancer and Ray's battle with his own violent tendencies). From bringing some soul back into their neighborhood, to kicking the hell out of a handful of local drug dealers, to simply putting a band together, each character has their quest, their purpose for that time in their lives. The book strikes me as masterful, I think, because it genuinely seems like a memoir written about a time of strife for this family, as though all it's plot threads could've actually happened the way they did.The experience of reading it, as it always is with King, was tough- the stream-of-consciousness style in which he writes doesn't lend itself well to easy reading. That being said, I see the value in that style; I don't know if King would be able to effectively get inside his character's heads any other way. The effect is worth it, I think.I can say that I fundamentally enjoyed this book. Though I might've preferred the last book of his I read ('Human Punk', which happens to tie into 'Skinheads' in a minor way), I would certainly recommend this to anyone looking for a no-nonsense, down-to-earth story about a truly blue-collar family trying to get by, while saving their subculture in the meantime.
I have now read three of John King's books including this and this is my favorite. It puts paid to the myth that skinheads are racist. They never were in my experience, just some NF thugs dressed in the style. But the book is superb, great characters, a perfect evocation of the late 60's early 70's from a Skin perspective. The ska references are excellent and brought back so many memories. I don't know much about John King, but judging from the musical references and the locations I reckon he grew up in a similar area and at a similar timescale to me, maybe he is slightly older because Burtons Dance Hall in Uxbridge closed when I was about 13, so I never got to go although I heard a lot about it from the older siblings of friendsIn summary an excellent book!
At first I struggled to engage with this book, but i'm glad I perservered because it's a good story. What lets it down is the writing style. Entire chapters with no proper punctuation doesn't make it an easy read. While i'm supposing this was a method utalised to 'get inside the characters head', I found it more frustrating than insightful.
Traduction française : Alain Defossé, édition Au Diable Vauvert.
Really enjoyed this book, I was hooked! Best skinhead novel I've read, just goes to prove not all skinheads are racist!! I'm a punk/skin myself .
Oi! Oi! Oi!