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A Kestrel for a Knave (Valancourt 20th…
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A Kestrel for a Knave (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) (1968 original; edició 2015)

de Barry Hines (Autor), Mark Hodkinson (Pròleg)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
8761718,290 (3.81)101
The Heinemann Plays series offers contemporary drama and classic plays in durable classroom editions. Many have large casts and an equal mix of boy and girl parts. In this dramatization of Barry Hines's novel, 15-year-old Billy trains a kestrel for whom he learns to feel great affection.
Membre:ToddSherman
Títol:A Kestrel for a Knave (Valancourt 20th Century Classics)
Autors:Barry Hines (Autor)
Altres autors:Mark Hodkinson (Pròleg)
Informació:Valancourt Books (2015), 162 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

A Kestrel for a Knave de Barry Hines (1968)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 17 (següent | mostra-les totes)
It took me 40p to get truely involved in this story - approx. 1/4 of the book. That quarter sets the background for what is to come in the remainder, when the protagonist, Billy, goes to school and one day shows the hilarity, banality, hopelessness and tragedy that surely will be a microcosm of Billy's whole life.

For me, school was not nearly so grim as for Billy, but I could relate strongly to his experience; casual cruelty (from teachers), injustice, bullying, that one teacher who is still capable of seeing pupils as human beings, fighting a losing battle against the indifference of all the others. Best days of our lives? I always thought that was some kind of sick joke. I was never so glad as to be out of that environment. Billy is 15 and will shortly be out of it, too. He doesn't have the fun and excitement of University and myriad possibilities afterward to look forward to, though. He's not that bright and there aren't many options. All he really knows is that he doesn't want to go down the pit. A mine that twenty years later would probably be closed, like almost every other in Britain, leaving him almost middle aged with no useful skills, not that he or the author would have known that. Since his father left home, his mother is going through the motions of raising him, more interested in her affairs, his brother hates him and there's little money. About the only thing Billy has of any value, and that to him alone, is the kestrel he trained himself. Is that enough?

Powerful, simple writing carries this story of working class northern Britain in the 1960s to an end likely to induce despair. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
This was the book that put Barnsley on the map in literary terms in 1968, made more famous by Ken Loach's film Kes the following year. The author paints a sharp picture of life at the time and there is some evocative description of the countryside where Billy Casper found his kestrel. But I'm afraid I found the narrative dull and have given up just over a quarter of the way through. ( )
  john257hopper | Feb 29, 2020 |
“It's fierce, an' it's wild, an' it's not bothered about anybody, not even about me right. And that's why it's great.”

Firstly a quick summary for those of you, who unlike me, are not old old enough to remember the 1969 film adaptation of this book. Set in an unnamed 1960s northern England mining town, Billy Casper lives with his inept mother and bullying older brother and is often left to fend for himself. At school Billy is viewed by most as a troublemaker, bullied by teachers and students alike. One night Billy steals a kestrel chick from its nest, rears and pores all his love and passion into it. Pretty simple tale then? Or maybe not.

Many, many years ago I served in the Royal Navy and when some years later, as part of my resettlement package before returning to 'civvy' street, I visited HMP Dartmoor with an idea of becoming a prison warder. Now whilst I recall little about the actual visit itself, what I certainly do remember was my sense of dread when the prison gate closed behind me. And I was only visiting.

If like me, when you read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein you wonder just who is the real monster, Victor or the creature, in this book you wonder who is the real prisoner? Kes or Billy? Yes, Kes was taken from its family and is kept in a garden shed only allowed out to exercise yet Billy is also a prisoner. Only instead of one keeper Billy has many. Society.

Billy has no tangible aspirations in life. He will leave school virtually illiterate and a future marked by low expectations and little chance of real freedom. Those who have an opportunity to guide him, (family, teachers and the careers officer), instead treat him with indifference and violence. In fact most of the teachers at Billy's school have given up trying to teach preferring instead to try to flog knowledge into the boys. Whereas Kes, when off the leash, has the opportunity to fly away, non-lifer prisoners have the chance of reforming and staying out of prison Billy has little chance of escaping his pitiful lot. A point underlined right at the end, when despite knowing that he is likely to be given a good thrashing by his brother he meekly returns home to an empty house and goes to bed, he has virtually given up before his adult life has even begun. He believes that the highpoint of his life is already behind him.

I found this a heart-rending read but amid the hardship and broken dreams there is humour and a healthy dose of Northern banter, I particularly enjoyed the ridiculously competitive PE teacher. Hines depiction of the countryside and the kestrels themselves is beautifully written. I wish I could say that this book was a product of its time I fear that there are still pockets of hopelessness today. Kids whose only future seems to be one spent in low value, low pay work or on social security. This means that this book is still relevant today and as such is a real gem. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Aug 11, 2018 |
A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines was originally published in 1968. This classic coming-of-age story is about Billy Casper, a young working class boy who lives with his mother and brother on a huge housing estate in South Yorkshire. The story unfolds over the course of one day with flashbacks to give the reader some backstory. Billy is a troubled youth who gets in trouble at home, in the neighbourhood and at school.

Billy lives a bleak life, his mother appears indifferent to her boys and is in the habit of bringing men home with her some nights. Billy’s brother, Jud, is older and is working full time at the local pit mine. Billy and Jud have an adversarial relationship with the bigger Jud usually getting the upper hand. In flashback, we learn that Billy caught a young kestrel and has trained it. This is a boy who is never going to get an opportunity to escape what fate has in store for him. There is no higher education waiting for him, he will most likely end up working in the same pit mine as his brother. His escape from his daily life is his kestrel, he can release the bird and watch it soar into the air and fly high above the dreary world. On this particular day, Jud’s bullying and rough ways cause Billy to make a decision that ends up costing him dearly. In the course of this one day, the bleakness and hopelessness that is Billy’s life is vividly illustrated.

A Kestrel For A Knave is not a charming or sentimental story. Instead the author highlights the harshness of Billy’s life that is filled with bullying and neglect. The reader is left with a sense of inevitability about what a narrow future awaits this boy. Although sad, this story evokes strong emotions and is a powerful tale. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | May 1, 2018 |
I have been holding on to my ancient Penguin paperback for many years as this is a book I like to re-read now and again. The FS edition is wonderful in every way except that it lacks a slipcase, which I find very regrettable. Whoever at FS made the decision to include this in a Nature series with Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (well, that's what I was told on facebook) has obviously not read AKFAK. They could just have well have included it in a Birds series along with To Kill a Mockingbird, Birdsong and One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, in which case there would have been a slipcase.

Billy is very real. I feel desperate for him and wonder about his future. ( )
  overthemoon | May 31, 2017 |
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Kes (1970IMDb)
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'An Eagle for an Emperor, a Gyrfalcon for a King; a Peregrine for a Prince, a Saker for a Knight, a Merlin for a Lady; a Goshawk for a Yeoman, a Sparrowhawk for a Priest, a Musket for a Holy water Clerk, a Kestrel for a Knave.'

Selected from the Boke of St Albans, 1486, and a Harleian manuscript.
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There were no curtains up.
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This is the novel. Please do not combine with any stage adaptations.
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The Heinemann Plays series offers contemporary drama and classic plays in durable classroom editions. Many have large casts and an equal mix of boy and girl parts. In this dramatization of Barry Hines's novel, 15-year-old Billy trains a kestrel for whom he learns to feel great affection.

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Mitjana: (3.81)
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Penguin Australia

Penguin Australia ha publicat 2 edicions d'aquest llibre.

Edicions: 0141184981, 0143566407

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