“dunno” – ebook bargains with Smashwords

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dunno,” my first novel, will be among them.

This is what reviewers say:

A book to really make you think. Saw a review in the Mersea local magazine and thought it looked interesting as I work in a school. Really saw things from a different perspective after reading this. Worth a look.

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This is a novel aimed at teenagers but also a very good read for any adult. About a boy called Jon who really has a hard time of it at home, at school and on the streets.
No one seems to want to help him (except the reader) until he is injured and the casualty nurse puts him in touch with someone who Jon reluctantly allows to help him.
The language is hard but very true-to-life and so right for this book. It provides a different perspective on the working-class, under-privileged society who we can so easily brush under the carpet as lesser mortals.
Perhaps there may be greater tolerance in our modern society if all teenagers were made to read books like this.
As a first novel, this book shows a great level of understanding of what makes a good read. I eagerly await the publication of the second novel.

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This book written for teenagers is the story of Jon, a young man with little going for him in life and the despair of the authorities trying to help him. What it feels like to be Jon and how he makes sense of his fractured world are powerfully conveyed by the author, an ex-head teacher. He does not spare the reader from the bleak realities of Jon`s life which are no doubt shared by many of our most vulnerable young people. Anyone wanting to enter the debate about what can make a positive difference to these lives will find plenty to discuss here. Refreshingly free of cliches or heroic rescues, the book provides a vivid picture of a young life at the point between living and mere survival. The elements of hope for Jon arise in ordinary places and in some of the people who cross his path. You cannot read “dunno” and not be affected by it.

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Hard to put down! I just wanted to give this tear-away teenager a motherly hug. Very well written using language that today’s adolescents would be only too familiar with, but it worked well. Jon is from a single parent “family” – I hesitate to use the word, as the lad doesn’t belong to anyone, that is until he meets some really ordinary adults who help him to see that life can be better than the one he’s experienced to date. Can’t wait to read the sequel when the author gets around to it. Excellent first novel from this promising storyteller. The only thing was it wasn’t long enough – I wanted to read on!


This is quite a tough read although it is not a complex novel and has a fairly linear story to tell. It is the subject matter which is tough. Jon is a disaffected 15 year old with a useless mother and no visible father. He is trapped in a world of truancy, dealing and petty crime. Jon evokes much sympathy and also infuriates by his difficulty in responding to chances given to him. The author is a retired head teacher and no doubt what he writes is based very much on experience. The tale is well told and is not without glimmers of hope but it does provoke thought about a familiar problem of present society.

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Extremely powerful and topical read about a young man’s struggle. Written in a believable and hard hitting voice, this book is a must read for teenagers and parents alike.

Paperback version – ISBN 9780954761400

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