Underground Reading: Harrison High by John Farris
The Week in Geek (Mar 21 - 28)

Modern School Stories

Although the "classics" of juvenile delinquency fiction are all from the fifties and sixties (Tomboy, Jailbait, Harrison High, Blackboard Jungle, etc.), the genre certainly isn't dead - if anything, it has gained in both intelligence and respectability.

Below, five modern examples of kids doing wrong.

Doing It by Melvin Burgess (2003). My favorite of Burgess's work - four boys with sex on their mind. (For more on Burgess, check out last week's review of Sara's Face).

Freshers by Kevin Sampson (2003). Grim take on British university life, the quest for identity and the lack of control.

Kung Fu High School by Ryan Gattis (2005). Completely insane - and utterly dark - look at a high school dominated by lethal gangs. Half Disney special, half Battle Royale.

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis (1987). Ellis's look at the deranged children of the upper classes and their wild lifestyle at a prestigious New England private college.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992). One of the all-time greats in any genre - an unusual murder mystery with a group of precocious (and disturbing) university students at its heart.

Fun fact: Tartt and Ellis were friends and schoolmates - both The Secret History and The Rules of Attraction are set in the same school. In fact, if you're obsessive enough, you can find a cheeky reference to Tartt's characters in Ellis's book - this Easter Egg is especially fun as Rules was published five years earlier...