As If

Blake Morrison

Published: 4 August 2011
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 272 pages
ISBN: 9781847084170


In 1993 toddler James Bulger was beaten to death by two ten-year-old-boys. In the wake of this brutal crime, came one of the most public and shocking trials in living memory.

Written in Morrison's supple, beautiful prose As If is a passionate, first-hand testimony of the Bulger case. It is a book about the nature of children, the meaning of childhood innocence and the state of the world we live in today.

About the author

Image of Blake Morrison

Blake Morrison is the author of several books, including And When Did You Last See Your Father?, As If, the essay collection Too True and Things My Mother Never Told Me. He lives in London. More about the author


As If is the mature, considered and very personal response of one man to a tragic act. It is what our media should have given us... Morrison's voice is, as ever, eloquent with both passion and intelligence.’ A.L. Kennedy



‘A remarkable, indispensable book’

‘Blake Morrison attended the trial and has written a lyrical personal and intensely painful account of what he heard and felt... This is an important, and, in the true sense of the word, dreadful book.’ Beryl Bainbridge

‘Blake Morrison is interested in the fundamental question of why the two young boys killed another child... he has contributed greatly to the debate and his thought-provoking book should be read by all those who have a serious interest in the vital process of reform.’

‘Morrison brings to the case an uneasy conscience which insists that nothing is black and white... he exposes the inability of an adult tribunal to deal with such young defendants.’ Joan Smith

‘Morrison's rich, deep humanity bestows upon this book a rare honesty of tone and of thought which the subject hugely deserves... out of his anxiety and compassion, he has produced a book which is both brave and bathed in mature wisdom.’ Brian Masters

‘This is a brave book, full of compassion and pity not just for the obvious people - the tiny victim, his parents - but for everyone involved, and underlying the struggle to discover 'why' is a compassion too for the state of childhood both remembered and observed. Beautifully written.’ Margaret Foster

‘Very finely written... supple, densely allusive, glittering prose.’ Lucy Hughes-Hallett

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