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Twelve-year-old Spaz is growing up in working class England with not much more than a band of fellow ruffians for guidance. It's all bleakly hilarious dystopian fun, told through his disjointed, stream-of-consciousness mind, until the kids stumble across a dead body. The murder becomes the coherent backbone of the story, but not the heart. Spaz and his friends' experiences are incredibly nostalgic of carefree childhood, which is strange considering what they go through does get harrowing, upsetting and disconcerting. Reminiscent of This Is England with its references to British pop culture goodies of the time, this feels more emotional and real as MP Thorp never forgets the childlike nature of his protagonist. I've always loved this kind of setting, these kinds of stories, this time period...and reading The Man With the Ants in His Eyes feels authentic, a gem I'm very grateful to have stumbled across.
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