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Grow Up Paperback – July 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857861875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857861870
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Liquid gold.' - Observer

About the Author

Ben Brooks was born in 1992 and lives in Gloucestershire. He is also the author of four other books Fences, An Island of Fifty, The Kasahara School of Nihilism, and Upward Coast & Sadie. Brooks' work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in the Dzanc Best of the Web anthology.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dianaers on April 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Grow Up was completely disarming. I went into it not knowing what to expect. When I read the description of this book, I was kind of expecting a young adult thriller: a normal teenage boy dealing with normal teenage problems, except that he is living with a murderer. What I got instead was a twenty-first century homage to Catcher in the Rye and Harmony Korine/Larry Clark's Kids. I was captured from the first chapter, and it was very difficult to put down, just because I was interested in Mr Brooks' writing and in seeing where the protagonist, Jasper, was going to take us.

Grow Up is laden with drug use, sex, vulgar language, so it makes me question whether or not it is for young adults, or at least, tweens. Jasper is self-centered, sometimes kind, often cruel. His primary objective is to have sex with Georgia Treely, and if his path is lined with alcohol, drugs, and sex, he is not going to deny it. Some of the situtations are humorous, some are cringeworthy, some are tender.

If you're the type of person that prefers a linear story that has a plot, then Grow Up is not for you. There is no real conflict, or the rise and fall of a typical book. What you have here is a series of events in a teenager's life and what happens when he achieves the greatest goal he has set for himself. In that aspect, it is different. Because Mr Brooks was a teenager when he wrote this, it is a credible and vivid story that makes me fearful, and almost sad, for this generation.

However, this is an honest portrayal of our youth, more so emphasized by the young author. It's not sophisticated, nor is it meant to be. It is a simple story about a teenage boy and all of the thoughts that swirl around a teenage boys head. If you're expecting more than that, this is probably not for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you want a window into the world of contemporary suburban middle-class English teenage life, this is the book for you. It's narrated by Jasper, a seventeen-year-old boy with all the characteristics of many of his ilk: self-absorbed, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes charming, often irritating, generally scheming to avoid studying and on the lookout for maximum sex, drugs, booze, and good times with his friends. Although the book is sometimes quite winning and amusing, Jasper's narration can also veer unevenly between bursts of insight and unbelievable idiocy. One subplot involves his belief that his mother's live-in boyfriend murdered his ex-wife, and his pseudo investigation in an attempt to bring evidence to light. It just comes across as ridiculous that even someone as flighty as Jasper would wander as far down that road of self-delusion as he does. And that detracts from the general realism of the rest of the book, which is quite good at depicting bored teenagers killing time with drinks, bad TV, video games, sex, and the like. It's not salacious or sensationalistic in any sense, just matter of fact in a way that only a writer confident of their subject matter can pull off. (The author was a teenager when writing the book, hence the ring of authenticity). Still, despite the relatively strong portrayal of that milieu, I never found the misadventures of an annoying teenage guy all that compelling, especially as some of his treatment of other people (especially girls) is downright awful. I guess that's the reality of teenage guys, but it's not a reality I needed to spend more time with.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Dragon on July 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I had mixed feelings about this book at first. The author has a keen if twisted sense of humor, and some of the lines are laugh out loud funny. It's well-written, and it brilliantly captures the ME!ME!ME! attitude of a 20-something young man. (He even says repeatedly, "I am a very selfish and insensitive person.") But I was never able to immerse myself in the book; I found the protagonist impossible to like, and the story didn't seem to have a point. I kept putting it aside and going back to it, but overall I just couldn't make myself care what happened to any of these people. It's possible the story comes together at the end, but I'll never know. About half-way through, after reading a very graphic scene where the protagonist kills a cat, I deleted the book from my reader. Yes, I know, it's only a story and no real cat was harmed, but there's something disturbing about a writer who comes up with that kind of scene. I don't care to see any further into his mind.
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By Shea on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was fantastic. It's probably one of my favourites. I don't recommend it for anyone under 18 due to content. It's very well written. It's funny and odd and it's a great coming of age novel.
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