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Arguably better known as Ken Loach's highly acclaimed film 'Kes', the underlying story of Billy Casper on which the film is based, is a harsh and heart wrenching book and a genuine must-read. Billy is a bored and bitter working class teenager sailing through life without inspiration or encouragement but taking on a kestrel gives Billy a new sense of pride, helping to build a trust and unexpected companionship he had hitherto experienced. The violent undercurrent of the Yorkshire mining town, Billy's unstable family upbringing and his trouble at school makes A Kestrel For A Knave a poignant and sometimes difficult read, yet it's honesty is endearing and exceptionally moving.
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