Review: Days of Throbbing Gristle by Kevin Cole

Posted on Monday, April 27, 2015 2:19 PM
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Title: Days of Throbbing Gristle
Author: Kevin Cole
Series: None

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Does Heaven know you're miserable now?
It’s 1987. Sam Henry Hay, a 17-year-old exchange student from Sheffield, hops into Texas, USA, with one burning ambition: Manipulate his gullible host parents into funding his university, and leave his dead-end life in Yorkshire behind.
But is Sam manipulating America or America manipulating Sam? The clever lad schmoozes his way into many a bed and purse, yet can’t get rid of anyone. He executes careful plans, only to watch them disastrously fall apart. Worst of all, this once proud nihilist watches in horror as he reveals a conscience, in a world growing ever darker around him.
Days of Throbbing Gristle is not your typical teenage tale. It’s a razor-slashing journey through a time and place that really was as bad as you’ve heard. For some, high school is the best time in their lives. For others, it’s a miracle they make it to the other side.
This is the first time I read a book by this author and I have to admit that I was impressed. The writing reminded me of some classics I have read although the author lives in our modern world.

Days of Throbbing Cristle takes us to a journey through time. We are in the 80s Texas where a young British boy named Sammy Hay travels all the way to US. Sam is an exchange student that has arrived in Texas with a plan. He won’t go back to his miserable life in England if he can help it. He plans to persuade his host family to provide the funds needed to complete his studies in a university in the US. It couldn’t be easier. Or so he thinks.

This was not at all what I expected to read. This isn’t some happy ending story just as Sam isn’t your typical teenager. He wants to appear strong, a bad-ass, a man who cares about nothing but himself but the truth is that Sam doesn’t know himself. It’s easy to “read” others but when it comes to figuring out yourself, that’s when things get complicated.

Sam believes that he has everything sorted out: his host family, the people surrounding him and mostly other teens. Sam mocks them but it’s among them that he finds the place he belongs. So even though things don’t go quite as planned it doesn’t matter because Sam has found where he belongs.

Sam was a mystery. He was the first to judge, to manipulate, to think the worst but all the while he had no idea who he really was. He wasn’t a bad guy. He wanted to seem like one but it wasn’t in him. He was just a 17-year-old on the verge of becoming an adult trying to survive this change that even today isn’t easy.

When I started reading it, I thought that this was going to be a self discovery journey. I wasn’t wrong but it turned out to be more than that. I really liked the book.

Totally recommended!

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
Sofia T.
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