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For fifteen-year-old boot-boy Joe Martin, growing up in Slough, the summer of 1977 means punk rock, social-club lager, cut-throat Teds, disco girls, the local soul patrol, reggae music, stolen cars and a job picking cherries with the gypsies. Once he hears the Ramones single ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’ and the debut album by The Clash, things are never going to be the same again. Life is sweet. At least until he is beaten up and thrown into the Grand Union Canal with his best friend Smiles. 

Fast forward to 1988, and Joe is travelling home on the Trans-Siberian Express after three years spent working in a Hong Kong bar, remembering the highs and lows of the intervening years as he comes to terms with the contents of a letter sent from England. Fast forward again to 2000, and Joe is sitting pretty – earning money as a DJ, selling punk records and fight tickets. Life is sweet once again. Until a face from the past forces him to relive that night in 1977 and deal with the fall-out. 

Human Punk is an anti-fashion view of punk from a satellite of London. It shows what the music and lyrics meant to the majority of kids who couldn’t afford and didn’t want to shop on the King’s Road, and the influence punk had on their lives. The story takes place against a backdrop of great political change, running on an eclectic soundtrack that moves from The Ruts and The Lurkers to Black Grape and Spiral Tribe via David Bowie and X-Ray Spex. Above all, Human Punk is driven by friendship – sticking the boot in, sticking together. 


Deluxe paperback / Includes an introduction by the author – Two Sevens Clash  / 350 pages / 140(w)x203(d)mm



“A fucked up Catcher In The Rye high on speed and punk rock.” JC Carroll, The Members

“The best book I have ever read.” Watford Jon, Argy Bargy

“An ode to satellite towns that Paul Weller will love.”  Q Magazine

”John King: the face in our subculture who lives what he writes.” 

Lars Frederiksen, Old Firm Casuals

“In its ambition and exuberance, Human Punk is a league ahead of much contemporary English fiction.”  New Statesman

Human Punk

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