Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Book Review: The Art Teacher by Paul Read

The Blurb: 
Patrick Owen managed seven years at Highfields Secondary School without punching a pupil in the face.
Unknowingly drawn into a war against his own pupils, Patrick's patience finally snaps as he finds himself the number one target with the boy the school just can't seem to expel.
When one of his Art students needs his help, she unwittingly pulls Patrick further into the line of fire, altering their lives forever.
With the media circling and rumours of his involvement reaching new highs, Patrick must escape the world he lives in, or face the consequences.
My Review:

Thank you to Legend Press for the advanced copy of this unbelievably good book.

Poor Patrick. Things are pretty crappy for him - and they are about to get a whole lot worse.

Once a semi-successful rock-star, Patrick is now an Art teacher at rough inner city school and lives on his own in a flat nearby. The kids are fearsome, the teachers weak, and Patrick feels helpless as he gets no support from his peers. It's a place full of people who lack respect for anyone.

It's a frightening but highly compelling read - I read it in two sessions, terrified at what was surely going to happen. The fear of walking alone in the dark in a dodgy area is brought to life on the pages, causing your heartbeat to increase and sweat to appear on your brow as if you were there under threat yourself.

The menace of the gang culture, of the lack of authority - it's all there in bucket-loads of visceral prose, so well written it's hard to believe this is Paul Read's debut. It's an intelligent thriller, a work of literary fiction but not to the exclusion of people like me!

Marks out of 5: 5. Well done, Paul. Keep up the good work!

You can buy The Art Teacher here (other retailers are available).

The Author:

After gaining a first in Fine Art at the Kent Institute of Art and Design at Canterbury, Paul Read moved to London, finding employment at Foyles bookshop before becoming a teacher. He has worked in several inner-city schools as an Art, English and supply teacher, both in England and Italy. He received a distinction from City University London for his creative writing MA.

A few years ago, Paul was involved in a hit-and-run incident which put him in a wheelchair for several months and was where he wrote the first draft of The Art Teacher. He lives with Patricia and their two children.

Follow him on Twitter: @paulreadauthor

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