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Graffiti My Soul

Niven Govinden

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Canongate Books

Published : 2008

Copyright : Niven Govinden 2006

ISBN-10 : PB 1-84767-097-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-84767-097-7

Publisher's Write-Up

This is Surrey, where nothing bad ever happens. Except somehow, 15-year-old Veerapen, half-Tamil, half-Jew and the fastest runner in the school, has just helped bury Moon Suzuki, the girl he loved. His dad has run off with an optician and his mum's going off the rails. Since when did growing up in the suburbs get this complicated?

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Jessica (220308) Rating (8/10)

Review by Jessica
Rating 8/10
Born in Sussex in 1973, Niven Govinden was educated at Goldsmiths. He used to work in the music industry before deciding to write full time. He is the author of a previous novel, We Are The New Romantics.

Fifteen year old Veerapen, half-Tamil, half-Jew, lives in Surrey, a place where it is believed nothing bad ever happens. Yet in Veerapen’s world this is far from the truth. He has just lost the girl he loves, Moon Suzuki. He is shocked and inconsolable. He blames everything and everyone at the time when she passed over and most of all himself for not rushing to help her. Instead he stood back and watched his Moon die.

Now he finds himself trying on his suit and at Moon’s funeral he runs away unable to bear anymore. His life is never going to be the same again. As if to make matters worse Veerapen’s mum is consoling herself with drink ever since his Dad ran off with the optician. Veerapen must somehow learn to cope with all this while figuring out what to do. Is this too much responsibility for a young man?

I rather liked this pop-cultural book filled with thoughts and views of a fifteen year old. The storyline is totally addictive, going back to the time when Moon was still alive as it builds up to the inevitable climax. You can really get a sense of Veerapen’s character. He is a seemingly street-wise kid but his immaturity tends to show in some areas of his life, especially when surrounded by his mates.

Written in the first person narrative he says: “Getting something out of a shop is worth two fights. Hassling commuters at the train station is worth half a slap. Steaming a train, as the kids from the Rose estate do during half term, is the equivalent of ten fights.” And of course picking on the “poor bastards the next rung down on the food chain” is a thing these teenagers can’t help but do. Out come the camera phones as they film clips of some innocent resident getting abused.

If you like this sort of book it is a really good read. Very deep too in parts, with a tragic and sad ending.
Jessica (22nd March 2008)

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