Jonathan Trigell – Boy A

In offbeat on August 29, 2009 at 8:39 am

The story has some parallels to the fates of the murderers of James Bulger, although the crime itself differs significantly. Among others, it echoes aspects of the Sakakibara Seito case in Japan and the Mary Bell case. The writer always admitted that the killer was not based on anyone he knew. However in Milan in 2004, he said there was a hint of truth in his writings, although did not disclose any further information on the subject.

Published by Serpent’s Tail in English speaking countries, the novel has been translated into French under the title Jeux d’Enfants published by Gallimard and also into Russian, Dutch and Spanish. It won the 2004 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the 2005 Waverton Good Read Award. On World Book Day (UK) 2008, Boy A was voted the most discussion worthy novel by a living writer in the Spread The Word poll.


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Joe flicked the switch of his stereo and rose from the settee. He walked over to the window, lit another in the endless chain of cigarettes and gazed out at the neon city skyline. The front door opened and his flat mates, engaged in deep inebriated conversation, came in and sat down. Joe leaning against the wall put on his Doc martins, black Oxfam crombie and headed out for a few drinks.

 A seedy Broad street bar, a defective neon light sputters and a plasma screen flashes images of scantly clad pop stars. A young barman with a soft face wipes the bar top with a paper towel. A glass collector aimlessly strolls around. Joe sits alone in a drunken stupor gazing at the black varnished wood. Joe pulls out his little black note book and pencil and scribbles a few observations. After awhile he mumbles a few words in the style of Kerouac’s intoning tales of hard times and life on the road. Instead of the garish beats of the ministry of sound Joe imagines a piano player weaving a little piece of unobtrusive jazz.

“The Bomber loads his literary guns and aims his spit full of words of malignant prose towards mangy moth eaten worldly worriers of woe….whilst the 3 am crowd of maladjusted undiscovered poets and word wise screamers of the street spread the word like a sexual virus….”

After a few hours drinking, mumbling and arguing with the occasional Big Brother reject, Joe popped a pill and closed his eyes.

Joe wakes to the screams of anguish from the damned souls of reality TV. The virginal soft features of the barman slides away leaving a pulp scorched face. The glass collector is face down in a pool of his own blood and excrement, whilst the frenzied drunk and dancing bystanders start savaging and fucking his withering torso. The once small and cramped bar has lost its sense of space; the dark walls slither like tar. The barman walks towards Joe and offers him a drink, not phased with what is happening, Joe takes the shot and couldn’t help but notice the barman’s encrusted lips fall away leaving behind fouled bloody flesh.

The barman’s dry and cracked mouth slowly parted with a metallic digitalised recorded voice. Joe could see the sound waves pulsate towards him.

 “di glass collector lay face down in a pool of fi im own blood and vomit whilst di once drunk and skanking bystanders started biting and fucking fi im withering structure…”

Lighting a cigarette and looking at the digitalised Dictaphone Rasta sounding corpse. Joe asks him a question.

“Do you think its fair you kill off the glass collector and leave him to your Big Brother degenerates?”

The barman grabs Joe’s collar. Joe is close enough to suffer his phosphorus rank ass breath.

“see yahso young writer, I have no argument with I and I! would I and I like fi im batty eaten out by fi im alter ego whilst he chews on di severed cock of a latter day shepherd of jah? or experience an explosive rectal haemorrhage?”

“Fuck me! Talk about an over reaction! I’m going for a piss”

Joe finds himself in front of a fly infested piss pool of an excuse urinal and is overwhelmed by the sight of a mutilated bloody body ripped open with entrails spilling out of a designer shirt.

Back at the bar and feeling ill Joe was about to mention the body in the toilet, but was somewhat taken aback by the barman as he was holding an unusually large cock in his hand that writhed like a dying sea snake. Like the Old Man of Crete, whose tears are the source of all the rivers in Hell, the Dictaphone Rasta sounding barman pissed his degenerate liquid up onto Joe’s face….Then appeared an apparition! It was of a man but his features were not clearly visible. His body consumed all light…

Slumped across the settee Joe wakes up to the orgiastic scene of his flatmates double fucking a woman he vaguely remembered seeing earlier serving customers at Waitrose…

“What happened? That sudden flash of light, unbearable heat…those cries of wag girlfriends in torment…the absence of…”

The mosaic images of flesh fade and Joe blacks out.

Later on Joe methodically listed in his mind the ideas and chapters for his novel, called “Death of Miss America” or “Self inflicted rectal haemorrhage”. After 3 hours chain-smoking before the window until the room became cloudy with a blue haze, Joe typed out his squalid tales of human bestiality and e-mailed them to his editor.



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