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Amazing. I think this book deserves 6 stars, that's how much I enjoyed it.
This book tells the story of "Paddy", a teenager growing up in Cronulla. He is a surfer, and aspiring to join the local surf crew: The Alley Cats. A rival gang "ATL" are trying to take over the area, and trouble is brewing.
I have never been to Cronulla, I have never surfed, and I have never been in a gang. Yet I found this book to be such an enjoyable read!
Based, in part, on the lead up to the Cronulla riots this book blended fiction and fact. Tells the story of a 15 year old boy who longs to join a gang but has no idea of the true consequences of following this idea. Well written, easy to read. I just did not like (or found jarring) was the line that this supposed teenager ended up looking like a super hero which I do not think added to the story.
I really can’t write a review that does this book justice - the writing, the characterisation, the place - everything is so real it sweeps you up and swirls you in. It didn’t feel like reading, more like complete immersion - a future classic. I’d give it 6 stars out of 5!
I really enjoyed this book. It was the first book I've read by an aussie about Aussies in a really long time and it was super engrossing to hear the characters voices with Australian accents using Australian slang. It was also awesome just reading about what it was like being a kid in Australia in the 90's (e.g going to maccas, skating and playing video games with your mates). Good stuff!
I really enjoyed this coming of age novel. Sons of the Shire is set in Cronulla during the time of the "Cronulla riots". Against this violent background, the author explores various relationships with his mother, father, friends and girlfriends from a 15 year olds perspective with sensitivity and insight. I couldn't put this book down and I'm really looking forward to more from this new author.
So engaging that I finished this in a day, loved it. The author managed to create a portrayal of this early 90's Australian surf culture that was both raw in its authenticity and easily understood by non-surfers. The Shire itself is as much a character as Paddy and King, Batman draws in the reader with his nostalgic depiction of this coastal suburb. Looking forward to his next novel...