Is Kalinda Ashtons The Danger Game an example of post-grunge? How?

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Topic: Is Kalinda Ashton’s The Danger Game an example of post-grunge? How?

Grunge literature emerged in the early 1980’s. It was pigeon-holed as “grunge” by critics who didn’t appreciate its content, which was mostly sex, drugs, alcohol and violence. The grunge era concluded in the mid 1980’s and is today re-emerging through popular literature, such as Kalinda Ashton’s, The Danger Game.

Grunge literature was writing that was raw, rude and obscene, that challenged most conservative views and opinions and was of an explicit nature. Traditionally it was written by angry misunderstood individuals who were unlikely to be educated let alone published. Grunge music is said to be “the child of punk, thrashing out pain and despair and alienation” (Eurhythmaniac, 2009). Similarly, in its literary context I believe that grunge fiction can be also viewed in this way.

Kalinda Ashton grew up in Melbourne suburbs, attending a small primary school of 20 students. She was always intelligent using words like “’immensely’ and ‘complacent’” from the young age of 7. She struggled through high school but eventually ended up at university; first studying law, then professional writing and editing and eventually going on to finish her PhD in journalism. In true grunge spirit Ashton states that she is a writer because “writing is the only thing that’s hung on” (Bookseller+Publisher magazine, 2010). Ashton as a writer has ventured away from the typical grunge stereotype by completing many years of university study. She has also gained respect and praise from the literary community through her debut novel The Danger Game which is also not representative of a traditional grunge novelist. The respect that Ashton has earned comes from the impeccable development of time and place in her novel, through a multi-faceted approach to tense and narration which flows flawlessly throughout all 288 pages.

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The story begins in the past or ‘then’ through the eyes of Jeremy, a quiet, misunderstood school boy. In third person narrative, Ashton pieces together the last moments of Jeremy’s life. Riddled in poverty and trapped in a life where neither school nor home brings happiness, we see how Jeremy struggles through everyday life with nature and the natural world being the only interest which brings him peace and solace. The inevitable fate of Jeremy is known throughout most of the book and that cloud of inescapable fortune hangs over the text leaving readers crying for this boy who ...

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