Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Bo-Co)

Burgess, Melvin

teenagers novel book junk

(British, 1954– )

Melvin Burgess, whose books have aroused widespread controversy, is a writer for older teenagers. He did odd jobs and wrote in his spare time for many years before having his first book, The Cry of the Wolf (1990), accepted for publication. His most famous novel, Junk (1996), is about a runaway couple who live in a squat in Bristol and become addicted to heroin. Burgess has a wonderful ability to see the world through the eyes of teenagers, and his characters are richly drawn and highly convincing. The book has no moralizing tone and portrays the incredible highs of drug addiction as well as the terrible consequences. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Junk has nevertheless aroused many complaints that its content is unsuitable for its target audience.

Also recommended is Bloodtide (1999), a powerful and shocking novel set in a dystopian future London of gang warfare, abject poverty and the proliferation of ‘halfmen’, created by the cross-breeding of men and animals.

J. D. Salinger, Philip Pullman, Irvine Welsh  SP

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