Summary:A London bus driver runs into a gang of youths who begin a campaign
of terror in London. Will these reeling events take more than the streets?
Though never flat out stated, this short story references the riots that took place in London a few months back. As far as I remember, the youth of London were upset about the lack of jobs. Or something along those lines. Which leads to problem I had with this story...
While Ward's writing is solid and engaging, much of the impact a piece like this could have is lost due to my lack of knowledge of the events taking place. Our protagonist is is a normal-guy-turned-hero that has the unfortunate luck to just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, if the reader is not up-to-date on current events, they would have no idea as what is going on in the story.
I get that Ward was trying to convey "the untold story." When the real life events were taking place, the media really focused on London's youth and how they were getting out of control. This story is about an innocent civilian that falls victim to their destruction.
But a story such as this needs to present the reader with enough information in order to pick sides. It could have been such an easy fix for our protagonist to have been listening to the news on the radio or something where the riots are explained. Otherwise I'm left with nothing. What if the hoodlums were angry because they were being unjustly treated? What if it was a gang war? In order for me to feel sympathy for the protagonist, I need to know what he was up against.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
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