Book review of Buckland Gap by Charles Wiltshire

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Buckland Gap, by author Charles Wiltshire, is a contemporary fiction based on the real-life depiction of a culture in Portsmouth, south England. It is a tough and challenging read because it walks the reader mercilessly and without apology, through the front door of the life of David, a twenty-two year-old street thug and criminal, who lives in the projects, government subsidized-housing, and whose entire existence is based on a criminal mentality that he, and others like him, are entitled. The level of hatred toward others, immigrants, people of color, even those from other parts of Britain, is difficult to fathom – but as one reads, it becomes painfully tangible and real that this is the state of our world today in more areas than just Portsmouth. Living in this sub-strata, where most of the people do not work, live on welfare, and where young girls starting at the age of fourteen and fifteen opt to have multiple children from fathers they neither care about nor will ever live with, just to be able to collect government subsidization in order to support their vices, drugs and alcohol, is not only sad, but horrifying to see that human beings elect to live this way. Buckland Gap is very relevant to our society and quite contemporary, as it discusses Brexit and the view of this welfare and criminal class who see the government as a betrayal and a system which does not care for them in spite of their refusal to work and support it. David is an angry man, driven by his uncontrollable rage and compulsion to impose harm on others, to steal, to abuse and sexually manipulate women, and oddly, if not even ironically, he never sees that any of the horrible things he does to others, is bad, nor does he ever feel any conscious empathy for another human being. He is the epitome of a sociopath, and in truth, this book is an open forum on the criminal mind and how people who refuse to work and contribute to society fall into step with this mentality of entitlement, those who gladly steal from others, who consider themselves to be respectable and even elitist and who hate ANYONE who is successful in life. This quotation serves to reflect the mentality of this brutal, lost and terribly misguided human being: “The anger was growing. He could not help wondering how long it would be before riots started. This brought a smile to his face; he was actually looking forward to the day when civil order broke down in England. He felt sure that the hard geezers like him would be in control then.”  

 

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