Friday 15 February 2013

I stumbled across the book Broken by Daniel Clay back in July 2008, almost five years ago now but I still remember how much this story affected me a the time.   I remember almost every detail of this beautiful debut novel, it is one of my all time favourite books.

I wanted to blog about Broken because the film adaptation of the story will be released next month, I don't think I've ever been so excited by a forthcoming film as this one.

Here's what I wrote about Broken back in 2008:

Original Cover
New Cover
This is definitely the best book I have read so far this year, I know it's going to be up there in my top ten books of all time - a keeper for me.

I'd call this a modern-day 'To Kill A Mockingbird' - and I'm sure that Daniel Clay has based his story on Harper Lee's original novel. Set in a street in modern day Southampton and narrated by Skunk who is laying in a coma and lives with her brother Jed and lawyer single father Archie - the 'Broken' of the title is nineteen year old Rick Buckley who plunges into a spiral of madness after being falsely accused by one of the Oswald sisters. The Oswald family are brilliantly depicted - five tearaway girls with an oafish, beer swilling, dope smoking Father who lets them run riot but will defend them to the end.

As the Oswald family become more and more uncontrollable, the consequences of their actions spread throughout the whole street. The novel shows how one disfunctional family can affected a whole community. We watch Broken slowly descend deeper and deeper into madness - we see how this affects his Mother and Father and how the system sadly fails him. We watch the effect the Oswald girls have on the other youngsters in the area - some of the bullying scence are horrific and very violent, but so emotional, you can feel the fear.

Skunk is such a real and likeable heroine - at the start of the book she is laying in a coma and narrates her story from there. The story is told in a very real and intelligent way, yet so easy to read and be drawn in by. It is often painful to read as you see the inevitable happening, yet cant do anything to stop it but you have to read on. There are very touching moments and also some laugh out load funny moments.

Each character is perfectly formed and rounded. I really found it hard to put this book down once I'd picked it up and hope that Daniel Clay will write more, and very soon.

Anyone who enjoyed Mark Haddon's 'A Spot of Bother' will love this book

The film stars Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy and Rory Kinnear and the release date is 8 March.

Broken - Promotional Poster

Take a look at the trailer for the film here


  1. I hope it comes to a screen near us. I loved the book and Bry really liked it too.

  2. Hi Treez. I'm really hoping that Broken comes to a cinema near to us too.

  3. I loved the book too - so will happily watch the film.

  4. This has been on my wishlist for ages but I had kind of forgotten about it - must get my hand son a copy before the film comes out! I do like Cillian Murphy. Not sure about the new cover though, I really like the original one.