[PDF] Ghost Town By Catriona Troth – serv3.3pub.co.uk

[PDF] Ghost Town By Catriona Troth – serv3.3pub.co.uk ❴PDF❵ ❤ Ghost Town Author Catriona Troth – Serv3.3pub.co.uk 1981 Coventry city of Two Tone and Ska is riven with battles between skinheads and young AsiansPhotographer Baz—‘too Paki to be white too gora to be desi’—is capturing the conflict on filmUnem Coventry city of Two Tone and Ska is riven with battles between skinheads and young AsiansPhotographer Baz—‘too Paki to be white too gora to be desi’—is capturing the conflict on filmUnemployed graduate Maia—serial champion of liberal causes—is pregnant with a mixed race childNeither can afford to let the racists win They must take a standA stand that will cost lives.


6 thoughts on “Ghost Town

  1. Chris Curran Chris Curran says:

    Ghost Town is a fascinating exploration of the Coventry riots of 1981 and the events leading to them Catriona Troth handles her material with a subtle touch and doesn’t flinch from showing the tensions and conflicts within communities and families as well as those outsideAs in all good fiction the heart of the story is an intimate account of the impact of these events on a small group of characters particularly Maia and Baz They meet when Maia comes to help out in the homeless shelter run by Baz This is populated by the sad dregs of Thatcher’s Britain those who’ve lost jobs that should have been for life the ex soldier trying to keep up appearances as well as the long time rough sleepers and drunks If this makes them sound like an amorphous mass of stereotypes nothing could be further from the truth It’s one mark of the uality of Troth’s writing that each soon becomes a vivid individualBaz is also a talented photographer helping to organise an exhibition by local artists from the British Asian community The exhibition provides an excuse for neo Nazis and skinheads to mount demos and spread racist discord When Baz is forced into the role of informal spokesperson for the exhibition his own mixed race heritage is highlighted and he realises that he and anyone associated with him is in danger As the story develops and the atmosphere in the town reaches boiling point Troth keeps the reader guessing with an intriguing mystery as Baz and Maia realise they are under threat from someone with a very personal grudge against them But is it a figure from Baz’s past or someone else they have angered recently? As the back stories of the two main characters are revealed it becomes clear that these also have a huge impact on their present day lives In Maia’s case it’s a friendship from her recent past that has changed everything During the course of the story it’s brought brutally home to her just how great will be the challenges she must face for the whole of her future life In contrast Baz is scarred by a trauma from his childhood that has powerful reverberations in the here and now of the racial conflicts in his home townGhost Town works as both a vivid record of a recent historical event and as a cracking good read


  2. Polly Courtney Polly Courtney says:

    GHOST TOWN is a uniue and brilliant book Set against a backdrop of the Coventry race riots in the 1980s a period of British history I shamefully didn't know much about it was not just a compelling read for me but also a learning experienceArtfully alternating between the first person voice of Maia a naïve and conflicted young white 20 something and the third person viewpoint of Bahjan Baz 'too paki to be white too gora to be desi' the story takes us straight to the heart of the racial tensions that erupted across Britain in the early 80s not the much talked about Brixton riots but the persecution of Pakistani and other Asian communities in the midlandsThen as now the mainstream media did little to cover the reality of events and it is clear that the author of GHOST TOWN did a lot of first hand research to get to the bottom of what really happened Young people were killed on the streets in violent clashes Letterbox fire bombs were commonplace The police did little to protect Asian families from ugly violence that is seen at close range by Maia and Baz I get the impression that the gradual 'awakening' we see in Maia her views on race and what it means to belong is an awakening that the author experienced during her time as a twenty something in Coventry The character is utterly believable as is that of Baz which must have taken a lot research in terms of dialect attitudes and background which again are very convincingThe plot cleverly weaves the bigger social themes into the main characters' stories without being clunky or too overt Much of the plot centres around 'the Skipper' a homeless shelter in the heart of Coventry where the two main characters volunteer and the intriguing range of frost bitten down and outs who use its services This choice of setting like the theme of the book and the choice of voice is unusual and different to that of most books I've read Perhaps that's why I enjoyed it so much It's hard to liken GHOST TOWN to anything else out there but there were certainly echoes of Alex Wheatle's EAST OF ACRE LANE I would recommend this book to anyone looking to step out of their comfort zone and explore a little talked about pocket of British history


  3. Jo Barton Jo Barton says:

    In 1981 Coventry is a city in turmoil Constant battles between skinheads and young Asians blight the environment and racial unrest festers in the city like an open wound At the start of the novel unemployed university graduate Maia is struggling to adjust to a life without her best friend Ossie who has returned to his uncertain future in South Africa Drifting aimlessly Maia has no real sense of purpose but when she takes a temporary job at a homeless shelter she comes into contact with the enigmatic Baz a mixed race photographer who views this racial tension through the long lens of his camera As she becomes a reluctant participant in this rebellious subculture Maia begins to form a tentative relationship with Baz which will have repercussions throughout the whole of the storyIn Ghost Town the simmering melting pot of racial disharmony comes powerfully alive On the surface; it’s a story about the menacing world of racial tension and seems to concentrate on the sinister shifting of acceptable behaviour and yet on searching closer it is of an inspection into the disintegration of moral standards And even as the street gangs and hooligans rampage through the concrete jungles of the inner city the heavy tread of Doc Marten boots and the verbal rattle of racial abuse can be heard echoing through the colourless buildings of the shopping malls and empty precinctsWithout doubt Ghost Town is a fascinating novel There is a subtle blend of realism and pragmatism which allows the story to evolve in such a way that despite its subject matter it never becomes distasteful or inflammatory There is clever use of colourful street vocabulary which is dotted throughout the text; from South Asian Punjabi through to Rasta slang words which imply meaning without always needing to refer to the exemplary glossary In ghost Town the whole vista of the 1980s is captured like a snapshot; a moment of time which embodies a culture one hopes is relegated to history books but which perhaps sadly lingers alive in memory It is a commendable and thought provoking novel


  4. Barbara Scott-Emmett Barbara Scott-Emmett says:

    I've never been to Coventry but I feel that I could find my way around simply by having read this book The city comes alive almost as a character itself Also the time early 80s is evoked so well it brought back vivid memories of songs of movements of clothes of the political spectrumMs Troth has a terrific ear for voices and accents; her characters come fully formed off the page by the sheer virtuosity of her ventriliuism She gives us an insight into a variety of different cultures and I never felt that her knowledge was superficial She inhabits the worlds of her characters and shows us their strentghs their weaknesses their uirksIf I have one criticism of this book it is that it was over too soon I would happily have read on


  5. Sa Sa says:

    Set against the back drop of 1980s Coventry troth traces the travels of characters making sense of a Britain in turmoil She pulls off delicately beautiful writing which contrasts with the often violent and aggressive setting Stick on the specials fry an egg smoke a spliff turn off the heating and sleep on the floor One of my top ten in the last five years


  6. Jane Davis Jane Davis says:

    I must admit that I was drawn to Ghost Town because of its 2 Tone reference However Catriona Troth has captured a slice of glossed over British history that seems particulary relevant now not only in the wake of the recent riots but also with the rise of the far right In 1981 I was a 14 years old and at the time of the Brixton Riots I shared a two bedded hospital room with a 16 year old boy who had been involved in them and had suffered a broken jaw It seems highly inappropriate now that I should have been paired off with a boy let alone someone who knew he was going to arrested as soon as he was released If I appear to be getting off the point what I am trying to explain is that the news reported what was going on in London I admit there was a degree of excitement to being put in a hospital room with a 'rioter' I was completely oblivious to what was going on only a three hour drive away The 2 Tone music that I loved then as I do now was all about racial harmony I was unaware why it was so necessary and what had happenned in the City that gave life to it This book is challenging on several levels Sometimes an uncomfortable read it demonstrates the vital role of fiction in tackling serious issues such as the threat that is perceived when the demographics of a city change rapidly particularly at a time of high unemployment It puts the reader in the shoes of two characters Maia white and pregnant with a mixed race child and Baz who knows how it feels to be an outsider He is of mixed race an interloper between the Asain community and his foster mother Rebeccah and manager of a night shelter for the homeless This is both a personal story of their journey together and the wider story the conflict between the Asian Community and the Skinheads which is based in fact Although the obvious villains of the piece the Skinheads are not the only danger There is also the casual racism that I grew up which grows ever vocal and prejudice between the different black communities I had only two small issues with the book Maia's story was told in the first person whilst Baz's story was told in the third person Whilst it didn't get in the way of a great read I would have preferred either first or third person throughout The second was Baz's acceptance that Maia was pregnant with another man's child Baz's answer to the uestion 'Was the thought of my being pregnant so horrifying?' was a concerned 'Is that what you thought?' Deciding to have your own child at a young age is hard enough Taking on someone else's seems almost saintly


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *