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Word Count: 732
You do what you have to do to survive Run by Farrukh Dhondy 208pp Bloomsbury 599 Farrukh Dhondy is back in town It seemed as though he had deserted the world of childrens books to be a TV commissioning editor and adult novelist but here he is writing a modern teenagers 18th-century rogues tale Rashid our 14-year-old narrator is writing up his life story for his social worker This takes us on a journey that includes close-up looks at one grandfather dying the other a circus strongman in prison denying a murder mules drug-running a prostitute sharing her bed with our hero a repressed paedophile collecting circus memorabilia a GM farmer toting guns and Mum going AWOL The action moves from London to Slough to Devon to Scotland and back to London told in the style of Ali G crossed with Henry Fieldings Tom Jones The quest is this Rashids mother a Jewish exotic dancer has an absent father alive or dead who has left behind nothing but a few clues to his past life in a circus The onward march of the book is provided by Rashids search for this man who we learn performed under the name of Josh Rabbit a transmogrification of Rabinovitch Though hes a Rabbit he is just about the only person we meet who is not on the run - thats because he is serving a life sentence for killing Rashids grandmothers husband The search is made all the more urgent by Rashids situation like Pinocchio he has run away and is constantly meeting misfortune and falling into bad company It isnt our heros fault that his Bangladeshi grandfather dies in front of him on the floor of the council flat while Mum is off dancing in Israel Hanging out with the schizoid ganja-selling AliceDavinia a teacher turned prostitute and Dr BroncoDas a Rastafarian taxi-driver who also sells ganja is more of a self-inflicted error His arrival
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