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The "I am currently reading" thread

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Yet again  'got to pick another' - quick look (ain't got my reading glass on')'

 'that 'll do'  4 for a £1 books, from local charity shop.


As if. 

Blake Morrison. 1998


Hailed as a master piece by the usual Suspects, Sunday Times, Financial Times (?), Independent, Time Out, etc, etc, etc.

The books first chapter re-tells the story of the 'Children's Crusade' (Circa 1212) but then leads into the main crux of the book,

the Trial of those who abducted and killed, James Bulger.

Yes, the book is 'harrowing' with details previously not revealed.

Detailing the 'abduction' and eventually the 'Sentences' handed down, the author has done what he set out to do.

The book fails for me with the inclusion of some (quite a lot) of Morrisons 'off subject' and at times 'positively embarrassing'

recollections / theories of his own.

The whole 'As if' premise is, what 'if' the two boys had had a stable upbringing, 'if' they hadn't played Truant,

'if' they hadn't zigged when they should have Zagged leads into, should these two 'little boys' really have been tried in Adult court. 

The conclusion 'yes', the boys did something 'horrendous' but 'doesn't make them 'evil',  is probably as contentious now as it was then. 


The end of the book touches on what rehabilitation (an unknown quantity at the time of publishing) the boys would 

receive (take advantage of) while they were incarcerated.

Would the Authors thoughts have been different? 'If', as we know now, how 'well' their reeducation and return into 'society' worked out.


Keep safe.








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