The stream of consciousness narrative, related by a young boy – really works. No mean feat when he is not only concerned with the usual adolescent stuff – football, bullying, girls – but also has to deal with the ‘re-education’ of his father by the Communist state. For Djata it is a cruel awakening to a world pervaded by violence and corruption. This book has won stacks of prizes in Hungary and deserves them all!
...and when it came to our school Iron Fist put an arm round my shoulder and just held me there like that, and I had my eyes on the mouth of the Young Pioneers commander - and it was as if I saw that mouth in slow motion as it formed the words it did - and I didn't even hear the sound of her voice, I only read her lips saying Sixty-three points, and I wanted to cry out That's a lie, that's cheating, I shot a perfect score.