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As If

by Blake Morrison
£9.99   paperback  Granta Books (2011)

As If by Blake Morrison As If seeks to expose the hollowness of condemnation divorced from understanding in relation to the Bulger murder trial.
 
People have almost become desensitized to random murder. It is often explained away by madness, sexual fantasy or rejection. One murder in recent times reduced every person to silence: the abduction and beating to death of a helpless infant by two ten-year-old boys. How and why did two innocent boys kill another? Is childhood innocence a myth? And what punishment could fit such a crime, assuming that children are fit to stand trial for murder?
 
Blake Morrison went to the trial in Preston and discovered a sad ritual of condemnation with two bewildered children at the centre. He looked for possible explanations in the boys' families, their dreary environment, their fantasies, their exposure to violent films. He evokes the worst fears of parents with a candid and raw account of his relations with his own children, and delves into his own childhood to reveal the worst thing he has ever done and show how easy it is to go along with cruelty.

ISBN 13: 9781847084170 | ISBN 10: 1847084176