Reviews Reviewed: FAG by Jonathan Hill


One of the best new books I read and reviewed in 2014 was FAG, the debut novel from accomplished short story writer, Jonathan Hill.

My review is here if you missed it.

The novel is set in Brierley's Boarding School in the 1930s where, to quote from the book description: a new term opens with appalling tragedy, the repercussions of which lead to devastating consequences. The headmaster, who will stop at nothing to cover up the incident, fights for the reputation of Brierley's, while several of the school's inhabitants are left fighting for their lives.

I read the novel soon after publication and was pleased to post a five star review on Amazon the next day. Several months later FAG has acquired seventeen mostly five star Amazon reviews which include such accolades as:

"Searingly powerful"

"Thoroughly compelling"

"Impressive and dramatic"

"Important, challenging"

"Magnificent"

"A gripping page turner".

The title of the book has proved controversial. The juxtaposition of the word "fag" in its traditional, English Public School usage with its latter day homophobic insult is one of the complex, strengths of the book. However Amazon (in many ways rightly) includes the word on its proscribed list and won't accept reviews that reference "fag" in any way.

There are some interesting reviews of FAG at Goodreads as well.

If you haven't read FAG yet I recommend it highly. It's highly-readable, good quality literary fiction; a fascinating story which explores issues that are as relevant today as the time in which the novel is set.

More details of FAG and Jonathan Hill's other books on his Amazon Author page or website.