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Moving, Funny, and Surprisingly Inspiring
After having watched the movie adaptation of this novel (which is a loose adaptation which empasizes the homoerotic element of the male to male relationships in the Borstal and creates a female love interest) I checked out this novel to read. Immediately, Behan's style captured my imagination and drew me in. The imagery and langauge are vivid, and his narrator is loveable, but not sentimental. Here in the character and the writer Brendan Behan is a man to study and admire. His account of life in a reform camp for young criminals explores the complexities of male relationships, and looks at a whole spectrum of prejudices nursed in the early 20th century--religious, political, racial, sexual. It's a novel that reveals goodness existing in a world outsiders would quickly condemn as full of evil.
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