Before the Fire

Before the Fire

2.95 (145 ratings by Goodreads)
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List price: US$20.95

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Description

It's June 2011. Stick and Mac are a couple of months shy of eighteen; summer's approaching and they're about to leave their north Manchester estate for the beaches of southern Spain.

But the night before they're planning to go, Mac ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, the victim of a random knife attack, and suddenly Stick's going nowhere.

His mum doesn't want him to leave the house; his dad's desperate to be his best friend; and his nan's boyfriend keeps telling him Mac's doing just fine in the spirit world.

Then he meets J and she might just be everything he needs. Except she's a firebrand with a grudge against the police, and the August riots are just around the corner...
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 22mm | 386g
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main market ed.
  • 1447222520
  • 9781447222521
  • 2,039,029

Review quote

The portrait of a young man on the edge, consumed by rage and grief, is beautifully drawn and captivates the reader so well that as the story builds towards the climax the tension is almost unbearable I liked too the flashes of humour and poignancy in the novel which reads like a bittersweet love letter to Manchester -- Cath Staincliffe, author of Ruthless A brilliant, punchy and utterly contemporary novel which reminds readers of the vitality and resilience of the novel - and the urgency of the issues it explores through its beautifully realised and notably passionate characters. Before the Fire is a novel about what it's like to live now, created by a writer with an unerring eye and a heart which is both humane and discerning -- Bidisha, journalist, broadcaster and author of Asylum and Exile To read Before the Fire is to walk several miles in other people's shoes, such is the empathetic nature of Sarah Butler's writing. We feel acutely Stick's raw and raging grief, his disillusionment for the future, and the hopeless, heartbreaking gestures of those around him. It's a tender, powerful, affecting novel, and one I enjoyed greatly -- Emylia Hall, author of The Book of Summers A moving portrayal of a country in crisis, getting under the skin of both the issues and the people affected by them -- Emylia Hall, author of The Book of Summers Butler is brilliant at capturing Stick's inner teenage turmoil, his anger, his feelings of futility, the terrible depths of his grief and his easy contempt for adults who clumsily try to help. By setting the novel in the months leading up to the 2011 riots, Butler also hints at a wider social dimension to teenage disaffection, while ensuring that Stick remains a riveting and sympathetic character The Daily Mail Too few novels describe working class lives and the context and reasons for their anger and hopelessness. I found the characters in Before the Fire real and authentic and was rooting for them throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed it -- Alex Wheatle An extraordinary novel, set in a world that isn't often written about with such a profound sense of understanding and truth. Stick is a beautifully drawn complex, likeable, understandable boy/man, living on the edge and struggling with making sense of it all ... Brilliant ... A stirring read -- Mavis Cheek Butler is brilliant at capturing Stick's inner teenage turmoil, his anger, his feelings of futility, the terrible depths of his grief and his easy contempt for adults who clumsily try to help. By setting the novel in the months leading up to the 2011 riots, Butler also hints at a wider social dimension to teenage disaffection, while ensuring that Stick remains a riveting and sympathetic character Daily Mail
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About Sarah Butler

Sarah Butler is in her early thirties and lives in Manchester. She runs a consultancy which develops literature and arts projects that explore and question our relationship to place. She has been writer in residence on the Central Line, the Greenwich Peninsula, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and has taught creative writing for the British Council in Kuala Lumpur. Ten Things I've Learnt About Love is her first novel, and will be published in twelve languages around the world.
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Rating details

145 ratings
2.95 out of 5 stars
5 11% (16)
4 20% (29)
3 33% (48)
2 25% (36)
1 11% (16)
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