Crossing Jordan - Jack Dickson
I couldnít help but be prejudice in favour of liking this book before Iíd even opened it because Jack Dickson is one of my favourite authors, and heís not written a word yet that Iíve not loved. His Jas Anderson series is fabulous. Oddfellows was excellent. Iím reading his collection of short stories, Out of This World, and loving every one. So, I came predisposed to like Crossing Jordan and wasnít disappointed in any respect. This is an amazingly powerful and moving story told in his very unique striped down writing style. Set in the heart of Glasgow, as were his other books, this tells the story of Danny and Kel, two very different fifteen year olds. Danny is the son of a policeman and a teacher, the epitome of middleclass, taking 5 highers (the qualifications that get you into University) and aiming to go to Edinburgh University the following year. Heís also gay. Kel is trouble. Red haired, punchy, low intelligence but street-wise, heís already served time in juvenile institutions. His mother left when he was thirteen and his father beats him. Heís also homophobic.
Despite all these differences, they are inseparable, and their relationship is told with such amazing insight that you feel you actually know these boys for real.
Kel is involved with the local big man, Jordan. He boasts that heís Jordanís partner, Jordanís friendÖ we know heís only boasting to look big to Danny, but the reality of the situation is far worse than we could ever imagine.
Doing a ďjobĒ for Jordan (meeting a man and accepting a parcel), turns into a nightmare for the two boys that escalates and escalates until they are forced to flee the city, wanted by both Jordan and the police. One thing you donít do when you work for Jordan is cross him. Heís a truly terrifying figure.
Interwoven in this tale of underworld crime and violence is the story of Danny and Kel: why they are together, how they feel about each other. I donít think Iíll even attempt to describe how this relationship unfolds. Itís so subtle and real and lifelike and heartbreaking and funny that you really must just buy this book and read it. Iíve never read a more honest account of a teenager coming out. I may be wrong, but Iíd hazard a guess that the author was Danny.
Much of the dialogue is written in broad Glaswegian. Iím not good with reading accents, but I had no real problem with it.
The book has one of the most truly erotic sex scenes Iíve ever read in a novel (and you know Iíve read lots!) and has wonderful sexy moments throughout. However, itís underage sex, so just be warned if that sort of thing is likely to offend you. I donít think anyone British would turn a hair at fifteen year olds having sex, but I think the reaction would be stronger in the States.
If youíve ever wondered what the difference between exploitation and genius is then read this novel.
Very highly recommended.
Nothing quite compares to the
experience of a Jack Dickson novel.†
I read for escapism, but his books are far from cosy or comforting.† Words that hurt like barbs against the skin,
prose stripped to bare bone, with power to shock and arouse, disturb
and move you to almost simultaneously to tears or laughter.
Published by the Millivres-Prowler Group Ltd. ISBN: 1873741413
Buy in the States from Lambda Rising Booksellers