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The Boy Who Made it Rain - Brian Conaghan

The Boy Who Made it Rain

By: Brian Conaghan

Paperback | 2 May 2023

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When a school tragedy happens, you probably lay the blame on society, the Internet, TV or violent films. Not many of you think it could be the parents' or the teachers' fault, do you? But then, is it? We all have our say, spout off opinions according to our view of the world. In this novel, too, they all have their say, but who's right?


At only sixteen Clem's world is turned upside down. His Willy-Loman-like father, a travelling salesman and a loser, is transferred from Eastbourne to Glasgow and along with him go Clem and his meek accommodating mother. But Glasgow is rough and Clem's posh English accent is not well-accepted in the sink school he attends. And he's a brilliant scholar. He soon becomes the target for McEvoy's group of thugs for whom slashing faces is the most important ambition in their depraved lives.

Industry Reviews
"...innovative and insightful... couldn't wait to devour part two" - Times Educational Supplement

"I will unashamedly admit that when I began reading The Boy Who Made It Rain, I was utterly flabbergasted. I began reading it early in the morning and I didn't put it down until I had finished it that evening, and though it's only 196 pages long, this is perhaps one of the most compelling novels I've ever read.

"The premise of the book is of the relocation of a family from Eastbourne to Glasgow, and of the stigma faced by the son as he tries to settle into the local school. Interestingly, Conaghan initiates the novel in a series of first person interviews with several (seven in fact) characters. This automatically initiates a much stronger relationship with the text because the multiple first-person perspectives allow a great deal of empathy and understanding to develop for each character very rapidly.

"Very early on, it becomes apparent that Conaghan is building up to something, his interviews taking on the shape of statements. Each 'statement' is crafted to be long enough to build up the picture just a little bit more, to give just a little more away, but not enough to say with any certainty the final outcome. And this is the crux: long before you finish the first half of the novel with the character's statements, to move onto the second half concerning the protagonist's recollection of events, you have a horrible inkling of what's going to happen. Grim inevitability coupled with fantastic word-craft is what makes you turn those pages, and Conaghan does not disappoint... When you turn that last page I guarantee you will feel numb with shock." - Heffers Review, Cambridge

"Brilliant writing, brilliant structure, brilliant book" - Des Dillon, author of Me and Ma Gal

"... definitely up there with the modern classics" - What? Magazine

"A Must-Read for Teens and Adults: The Boy Who Made It Rain is an innovative novel that will keep you glued to the story until you turn the last page and learn the final outcome." - Fran Lewis, New York Reviewer.

"Told from different points of view, Brian Conaghan's THE BOY WHO MADE IT RAIN, shows what happens when a boy finds himself in a strange school, the target of many other kids and as well as vicious rumors, and the resulting violence that occurs.

"This is no fantasy - kids can be vicious - just remember the names you used to call your friends, rumors you would hear, how easy it was to make someone a scapegoat. Of course bullying is not isolated to kids - we see it clearly in domestic and international politics on a grand scale.

"Brian Conaghan uses mounting suspense and an ironic ending to show us not only the consequences of violence, but its utter uselessness as well.

"THE BOY WHO MADE IT RAIN is a valuable, gripping read" - Bill Baker, Educator, USA

"Clem is the newcomer/English outcast at his Scottish high school. He has really only made one friend, Rosie. This doesn't stop others from forming opinions of him and even spreading some nasty rumors.

"This book has a really interesting structure. Clem is the main character but we don't really meet him until halfway through. Instead, we get monologues from other characters sharing their opinions/observations about Clem. Through these minor characters we begin to get a sense of Clem and we also begin to realize that something very bad may have happened. Perhaps something on a Columbine scale. The structure really adds to the feeling of foreboding. It was really extremely well done.

"I really believe this book is going to begin appearing on required reading lists for many, many English classes. I also believe the students won't mind. The author has done an excellent job of capturing different speaking styles and voices for each of his characters. Just what a writing teacher needs for a mentor text.

"Verdict: Highly recommended,

"Challenge Alert: lots of realistic cussing. Although, quite a lot of that cussing is spelled with a Scottish accent so maybe parents won't realize it." - Stephanie Lott, Educator, USA

"This is a brilliantly written book. I read it in one sitting, I just could not put it down.

"It is the story of Clem - a new boy who has moved from Eastbourne to Glasgow with his parents.

"It is written in a narrative style with each chapter written from a different character's point of view. They are all writing with hindsight after a major event has occurred which the reader is left to guess about right up to the very end.

"The last section is Clem's own narrative telling us his thoughts, feelings and actions, from finding out he is moving right through to the magnificent climax.

"This book will keep you enthralled throughout. The characters are exceptionally well described and revealed through their dialogue..." - Adele Symonds, Reviewer UK

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