Shizza my drizzle
- Twelve by Nick McDonell
Atlantic, 244 pp, £9.99, July 2002, ISBN 1 84354 071 1
Nick McDonell’s first novel (written, in case you haven’t read a newspaper recently, when he was 17) is set on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and focuses on a group of teenagers from that neighbourhood. With a couple of exceptions, the characters in the novel are immensely privileged: they attend – or have attended – boarding schools; they live in luxurious apartments belonging to their (often absent) parents; and they are used to being looked after by maids. At the same time, many of them attempt to connect themselves to less privileged existences: they shop-lift, deal drugs, fantasise about – and in some cases own – guns. Most of the time, the harm this causes is limited and trivial – they merely end up looking ridiculous. But it has some wider and genuinely alarming consequences.
The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.