A Clockwork Apple, By Belinda Webb

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The Independent Culture

When I first sees this book, I sphinx "What?" She's nicked Mr Burgess's idea, innit. But no, dear readerz, there is more to it dan dat, cause Alex is a GRRRL, and her argot is sans Slavonic influence but based on black urban vernacular wiv bitsa Latin, purloinings from Shakespeare and a few uvva daft coinages wot necessitate a paffetik glossary at the back.

Alex runs round Madchester wiv her gang of GRRRLZ terrorising the Blytons (aka da bourgeoisie). Plenty of violence, including some deadings. The like narrativity is punctuated by D'ya get me? and Alex's annoying cacchination of Hee hee haw haw. In between the fighty bits Alex finks forts about literature, life, the sophy of Philo and all that bollox...

Are you tiring of this? Me too. Let's just say Webb is a young writer looking for a voice. And a story. She has some linguistic inventiveness and maybe one day she'll write a good novel. This isn't it.