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12.6.07

Richard Allen - Skinhead novels






Richard Allen, The Charles Dickens of skinheads born James Moffat (1922-1993), was a Canadian-born writer who once published a magazine about bowling and who, under sundry pseudonyms, wrote hack fiction (westerns, children's stories, mysteries). In 1970 he was asked because he was so versatile and prolific, to write a book for the New English Library about skinheads. Allen's fist novel, Skinhead, succeed with its authentic portrayal of Joe hawkins, the 16-year old gangster becoming king of the skinheads. After that sold a million, the formula stayed pretty constant for 17 other novels - seven with the words "skin" or 'Skinhead' in the title. Allen bought to the task an enthusiasm for research, speed - he once completed a novel in less than a week ! His books documenting the changes in British youth throughout the 1970's (bikers, mods...), are a part of the cult english litterature.

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