Streatham Ice


SKU e-book Category

100 in stock


By John McKelvie


ISBN: 978-1-905610-03-7
Published: 2005
Pages: 127
Key Themes: fiction, relationships, anxiety, adolescence, South London

“Unsettling and very funny… Alex’s voice is relaxed yet playful and sophisticated… Brilliantly catches the mood of teenage life in millennial South London” – Martin Ouvry, The Literary Consultant


To Alex, his new mate McEwan is just a loud wild-boy with nerve, raging at authority and injustice. But when he learns that McEwan is quietly cutting and burning himself, Alex doesn’t want to know (his Dad did himself in, and that still hurts too much). McEwan’s increasingly disturbed behaviour pushes Alex’s friendship to the limits. If only boys would talk more… The joys and madness of Brixton Hill and Streatham High Road amplify Alex’s funny, edgy tale of young male friendship, distress and denial. A witty and conscious work of fiction that will resonate with anybody who see a bit of either Alex or McEwan in them.

About the Author

After a degree in English literature and comparative religion at Leeds, John worked with adolescents in Yorkshire, taught briefly in Suffolk, then became a London hotel porter before training as a social worker and working in mental health. He now works for the national charity Together: Working for Wellbeing (formerly MACA) and lives in south London with his family.

Book Extract

I saw him at the enrolling. There were hordes of us in the gymnasium, alphabetically divided. You could see him from the back even though he’d hacked his little red dreads off. McEwan. Smoking against the rules. Good boy.

He looked round once, didn’t see me of course, wouldn’t recognise me anyway, being dressed up, different from school. I felt nervous. Everyone else was screaming and jerking about like party kids. I knew some of them. But McEwan was on his own, like me. A bottle sticking out his pocket.

He swanked up to the table where the officials sat. His turn to enrol. He landed the old girl, shook her hand and made her smile. A few questions, then suddenly a fuss. He hadn’t brought his photographs. You were supposed to have two. He didn’t have one. He couldn’t enrol. “Please”, said McEwan like a spoilt brat.
“Sorry. No”, said the old girl, very final.
They stared at each other. Then he pulled the gun.
Someone screamed. Enrolling stopped. Danger in the gymnasium. He turned to the audience, gun flat against his chest. Everyone moved back.
“I’m not just a pretty face. Whatever she thinks. I’ve got feelings too, you know, feelings – “He couldn’t go on, choked. I wanted to clap, show him I cared, but I kept quiet. I trusted him. The woman leaned forward being brave. She wasn’t stupid. The gun was see-through green. “Mr McEwan”, she said calmly. “Put your water pistol away and go and get your photographs at the post office. Then you can enrol. And, if I may say so, your joke is in particularly bad taste given the current climate of gun crime in this borough.”
Oooooh, went the crowd.
He looked at her, poked the gun in his ear and closed his eyes.
“All I wanted was an education,” he said.
He squeezed the trigger. Splash. He staggered off, ear dripping.


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