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Thrill Seekers by Edwina Shaw

Thrill Seekers

by Edwina Shaw

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This is part of a 'gritty' Young Adult series from Ransom Publishing UK. A gang of Brisbane children progress from mucking around in Oxley Creek to more risky adolescent thrills. In what might seem a standard children's or YA literature trope, the father of the main characters dies in the first chapter, and their mother is pretty much lost in grief and alcohol. In what follows the young people go more and more out of control. There's an awful lot of flagon wine ('goon') and marijuana, a range of other drugs, quite a bit of violence, some awful sex and a lot of wretchedness. The most vulnerable character goes horrifyingly, dangerously mad. At the end there is a glimmer of hope.

The book treats its difficult subject matter without romanticising it, and without moralising. The story of the young man who descends into paranoia takes us heartbreakingly into 'the unique terror that the word madness conveys' (a phrase from philosopher Raimond Gaita). ( )
  shawjonathan | Sep 28, 2011 |
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When his father dies, Brian promises to take care of his Mum and little brother Douggie, but that's a lot tougher than he thought it would be. Especially when Douggie takes to sculling casks of wine, smoking dope and doing drugs with his mates. Then Douggie starts hearing voices, and the paranoia sets in. There's nothing Brian can do as he watches his brother and his mates spiral out of control, doing whatever drugs they can to stop the awful feeling of going under. That is until one night Douggie loses it totally and everything starts to unravel.… (more)

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