Barry Hines: A Kestrel for a Knave

A Kestrel for a Knave cover - Rik Rawling

It’s fierce, an’ it’s wild, an’ it’s not bothered about anybody, not even about me right. And that’s why it’s great.

This is a  2010 drawing, mocked-up as a cover for the book that inspired it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – growing up in Yorkshire in the 1970’s, whenever Ken Loach’s film version was on TV it was like being called to prayer. No matter what we were doing, everyone went in to watch it, just to see a realistic depiction of what it was like growing up working class in the despised north. Every other kid on TV back then was middle-class, accent-less, and blessed with a future worth looking forward to. Kes was brutally honest in its confirmation that, for the likes of us, there was no hope. We were all Billy Casper.

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