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Working with the extract

This is a well-structured narrative that creates its effect by its deceptive simplicity. The opening is simple and direct with a reference to the Nookers that the reader does not understand. This sets up a slight tension which builds throughout. The carefully selected detail of the descriptions of the maisonette, passing the 11-plus, Mac and his family set the scene convincingly for the reader. The introduction of Phil with his menacing gesture "like a gun" further builds the tension. The encounter between Mac and Phil and Mac and the kid create false climaxes. The violence when it comes is so sudden and unexpected that it is shocking.

Again the writer creates his effect by the directness of his descriptions.

The effect of the violence on the writer is not described beyond "I couldn't stop trembling", the rest is left to the reader to imagine. The narrative ends as it began with the brother's reference to the Nookers - but this time the reader knows exactly what the situation is.

Read and discuss, paying particular attention to the use of dialogue and selection of detail.

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