Head Boy: tartan noir


neonWhat if… Trainspotting and The Wire had a sleazy one-night-stand? ‘Head Boy’ would be their illegitimate offspring (probably taken into care and fostered by Quentin Tarantino). It’s a drunk and disorderly romp of a novel, which wittily depicts Scotland’s decaying post-industrial urban environment and the area’s street-creeping, purse-snatching, drug-pushing lowlife inhabitants. The central character – Diller – is snarkily smart, wickedly entertaining in his open acknowledgment that he’s a stone psycho killer with no good reason to be bad (say, maybe he’s just drawn that way?)

The events of Head Boy are set at a pivotal moment, when Diller’s rising status openly threatens Hondo, the local coke-pushing kingpin. Diller needs to maintain his squeaky-clean superficial exterior while gouging, maiming and manipulating his way past thugs and wiseguys. When he’s not snorting, stabbing or shagging, he’s keeping up appearances at school and with his parents – who couldn’t be nicer middle-class…

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