Visceral, tough and original
'A vivid, sometimes shocking novel, which combines a fast-moving narrative with an incisive, satirical critique of comprehensive education'
Lucid and humane
Merton has a distinctive voice - edgy, sharp, and avid for adventure, whether it's drugs or sex. His inner struggle to abandon his self-destructive path and become responsible for his own life makes for a gripping read.
An explosive, disturbingly realistic story
Page-turning and deeply moving. A masterpiece.
A dramatic story which involves the reader from the first page. The insight into the politics of overseas aid is as convincing and courageous as the author's depiction of comprehensive education in The Illumination of Merton Browne.
Praise for The Illumination of Merton Browne: 'As soon as you read the first page you're gripped by the voice...a state of the nation novel...a very tough, unflinching look at what life is like today...but there's also an incredible amount of hope...scary, compelling, original...brilliant'
'Shaw's pacing, happily, is almost faultless. With its emphasis on dialogue, its ensemble cast, its moral dilemmas and its well-maintained tension his book has the feel already of a television miniseries . . . it is crammed with plot and constant drama.'
All the pace and drama you could wish for