Strange Boy – Paul Magrs

SBThat this book is on the Christian institute’s list as being in schools and, as such, a dangerous book likely to pervert the minds of the young is sufficient recommendation to read it and pass it on to teenagers. Are they scared of the suggested healing powers or the homosexuality?

John’s mam Maddy is depressed and religious. She has religious murals, knits too tight so things come out funny looking and she believes in his special powers

John is not like the other boys at school. Most think he’s weird. He likes fantasy and horror comics, is four years older, seems like a grown man with hair on his legs and under arms and dark stubble. There is a sort of initiation with penises touching but he doesn’t spit, Mars bars and crisps seal the deal.

Nostaliga abounds: Battenberg cake, supper off trays, white leatherette in the front room, Hillman Imp, no phone so had to use a call box, an ultra modern ‘little box’ home, a 3 piece can be cut up and rearranged, smoked glass cups and saucers plus a coffee table where you can see the legs underneath, frozen fish fingers ready in the frying pan, oven chips safer that having a chip pan on the go, Birds’ Eye mouse, etch a sketch, Peer Gynt, Jesus and Cinderella. Eating in ladies loo, we are told, is not hygienic. The factory shuts down for 2 weeks’ holiday, Emmerdale Farm, sticky tarmac, Basil Brush, Doctor Who, trimphone, formica, a crackling bed in Casualty, Kermit the Frog, Wimpy bars and hero cards to stick on wall chart.

The boy’s dad, we are told, has a small dick, is policeman who doesn’t feel little in the changing rooms – Saw him in cubicle and ran out saying it was horrible – followed him in nude. He takes his son sake swimming or to the cinema. His new girlfriend’s kids are moving in but still have priority. Men need someone, we are told and the son tidies away his comics.

Little Nan has noisy jewellery, sang in working men’s clubs and kept her pound notes in a false compartment behind wardrobe.

His mum got pregnant the first time.

Big Nanna’s second husband kept food separate in the fridge

Miss Hellist asks why kids pick on him and advises him to change. There are impossible gym exercises

On a trolley dash the kids are out together as it’s assumed they’ll get on. They fill up with Eggnog.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] The late 1970s are captured very well, with the trendy teachers, the Anti Nazi league, Rock Against Racism, Blair Peach, Abba and cheesecloth but there’s still a secondary modern school and an unusual one at that as it has a Sixth Form. Te tastes in furniture reminds me of Paul Magr’s ‘Strange Boy. […]

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