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Hollow Shotguns Paperback – July 3, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

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"Definitely not for someone looking for a cosy read. There are nasty things at work. You would also need to get used to the teen language Patel is using - a language these children use in their own communication. But this took me all but one chapter (being a woman of 40+ years). Not only a flesh-ripping apocalypse story, but very much a story of growing up, friendship, boys becoming young men." - The Pegster Reads Review

"Not where Twilight and sparkly vampires rule pop culture can a voice and writing style so unique be allowed a chance. No, this kid breaks some rules and he breaks them across people's faces. This is no ordinary novel. One thing that will strike you like the stock of a shotgun is the prose. The writing style is so unique that it immediately removes you from your comfort zone and places you in Khalid Patel's world and does so abruptly, just as the apocalypse would. The imagery in this tome could take on the best horror novel." - Eryk Pruitt, Southern Noir writer

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Severest Inks; 1st edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957325509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957325500
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,270,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Khalid Patel is the British writer of literature with a nonconformist, subversive flavour. Experimental prose and inventive dialogue sculpt his innovative narratives, whilst scalding social commentary and dark humour singe the words, wrenching readers out of their comfort zone for an utterly unique experience.

An English Literature graduate and culture junkie, Khalid is an ardent fan of cinema - particularly South Korean cinema which he finds impossibly poetic, dark and beautiful - comic-books, videogames and street fashion. His passions influence and seep into his works.

The young writer advocates social activism and a questioning of the status quo. He is a fierce critic of far right outfits and has attended anti-racism and anti-hate protests where he has engaged in running battles with neo-Nazis. His narratives are laced with sociopolitical asides, encouraging his readers to consider deeper issues. With his works, Khalid also seeks to disintegrate stereotypes of Muslims and people of brown ethnicity.

"This kid breaks some rules and he breaks them across people's faces... Khalid Patel represents a new age in fiction. He examines traditional fiction and turns it on its head with technology and innovation." - Eryk Pruitt, Southern Noir Writer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. Pauls on November 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
What I enjoyed most about Hollow Shotguns, was the same thing I initially liked less. At first, it was hard for me to get into the story because of the language. The dialogue and the prose kept on pulling me out of the imaginary bliss you normally aim to achieve when losing yourself in a novel. However, once I got used to it, I started loving it, and looking forward to it. It was almost like having to learn a new language. Initially you feel left out from the conversation, excluded, and once you've mastered that new tongue, you rejoice in your new ability and enjoy the humor and deeper, implied meanings. The language became the story for me, making this definitely NOT A F***ing Beach Read.

Hollow Shotguns is the story of an apocalypse, the end of the world, and on a deeper level, of humanity. The setting is Riverstones City (Stones for short), which is not new to fans of Khalid Patel. Characters from other stories like Red are met here. It's the capital of poverty, crime and moral degradation, the grotesqueness given to the dangerous streets a metaphor in itself. It is hopeless, and depressing.

Inside the monstrosity that is this city are layers of dark, South Grove being one of the most decayed of the suburbs. "The Grove comprised a squared stretch of slight dwellings. All decrepit... Crumbling corners embraced spent needles, smoked-out blunts. The same sidewalks which in day hosted candy swapping, playful tussles, teenage flirting, come night quartered drug dealing, brutal violence, prostitution." This is home to The Set, a gang of four teenage boys. At heart, they are only boys, who do what boys do. For example, the question at the center of Slash's universe is "Can Tyler Durden thrash Frank The Bunny?" Their actions are geared at proving their worth.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Book Chick on December 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
The pace of Hollow Shotguns is launched in the opening pages. The narrative is unrelenting, mesmeric, sparked with emotional energy; the jarred and disjointed prose providing imagery of chaos and destruction that is almost tangible, at times viscerally alarming, yet captivating throughout.

Set in the blistering heat of summer, this is the story of a gang of preadolescents endeavouring to survive the homicidal consequences of a raging virus. As Hollow Shotguns unfolds, it becomes evident that the traditional materials of horror are being pushed far wider than ever before, merging popular and literary fiction. Whilst the foundations may lie in the horror genre, rather than sinking to the usual slasher/zombie plotlines and letting the reader idly suspend disbelief, Hollow Shotguns forces them to confront and question where the real threat to the physical and spiritual self lies. As the measures taken to ensure survival escalate, the narrative unnervingly exposes how the capacity for harm which dwells within the human psyche is far more terrifying than any external demons. This is a work brave enough to challenge its readers not just appease.

The humour weaving through the passages offers some respite from the intensity of the main subject matter, with constantly well-placed reminders of our protagonists' youth and innocence, juxtaposing the bleaker backdrop of the apocalypse and the violence. The naive ponderings of the young prodigies, often focusing on minute and irrelevant details irrespective of the approaching apocalypse, serves to develop the characters and give the book heart. From corrupt governments to antiquated education systems, all come in for hilarious ridicule... especially poignant when expressed from the mouths of the young boys.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Saf on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought a copy of this after seeing some buzz about it on social networks. It's possibly the most intriguing narrative I've come across for a while (movies included). It's kinda like Stand By Me meets The Walking Dead by way of The Wire crossed with Battle Royale... but still its own unique beast altogether. It takes old clichés & archetypes & then proceeds to slay & subvert them into something else entirely. Very worth a read. It'll get your brain tickling too! I should mention though that the first chapter is somewhat demanding. I personally liked the challenge, but if you struggle, persevere! It does get easier, otherwise you'll miss out on a pretty sublime read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Will Marsden on February 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
While reading Hollow Shotguns you'll laugh, cry, be shocked, amazed and sobered. And, man, that's just through the first freakin' chapter! The thing about Hollow Shotguns is, it's not really about the apocalypse at all. Rather it's about five boys, all from broken families --families with abusive fathers, anguished single mothers and violent brothers. In fact (disregarding the brief pulse-bothering prologue) the first few chapters don't even feel like something from the apocalypse genre, rather something from a poignant drama. In these opening chapters, Khalid Patel goes to lengths to give Hollow Shotguns a realistic, relatable ambience. He ensures you really connect and intimately empathise with the characters before throwing them, and us, into the epic circumstances which form the crux of this book.

And trust, when the s*** hits the fan, Hollow Shotguns really does become balls-to-the-wall EPIC! Full on cinematic action set-pieces sneak up on you, leaving you breathless! Yet the action scenes in Hollow Shotguns are ingeniously designed to make you think. Unlike most depictions of violence in entertainment, this isn't mere dry, by-the-numbers action. The author constantly keeps you on your toes during the battles, often not fully spelling-out what is occurring, encouraging you to read between the lines and deduce what just happened yourself. This is very cleverly done as it reflects what it'd be like to be in actual combat, where the situation is ever-dynamic and you never know what's to happen next, with your thrashing, thrashing adrenaline giving you a sort of super-sensed high, just you like you'll get from the inventive, intensive fight scenes here.
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