Excerpt from The Hit by Melvin Burgess, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Hit

by Melvin Burgess

The Hit
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Feb 2014, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


And people were taking them. He could see them tipping back their heads and flinging the pill down their necks. "Live fast, die young!" yelled the man. He laughed and threw a handful of the pills into the air. Around him, people scrabbled to pick them up.

"We could have taken it without realizing," exclaimed Lizzie. Adam stared at the black-and-white pill in the palm of his hand. What would it be like to know — to feel like Jimmy Earle for one brief, sweet week . . . ?

He flung his hand to his mouth, then grinned madly at Lizzie. He swallowed. She started back, shocked — but then he showed her the pill in his hand.

"You bastard," she yelled, and laughed. She stared at the small capsule of craziness in her palm. All those people, just swallowing it! "Do you think it's the real thing?" she said.

"Could be, if Jimmy Earle paid for it. He has the money.

"They looked at each other, shocked by how tempting it was. They'd been there with Jimmy. They'd seen it, they were part of it! If they took Death tonight, they'd be living it, too.

"It's not worth it," said Lizzie. She flung her pill into the crowd. Adam did the same. Death, on a night like this? He wanted to live.

Only, some people said, that was exactly what Death made you do . . .From some way off, they could hear sirens. Reinforcements were on the way. The city was a dangerous place tonight. There was the sudden rat-tat-tat-tat of machine-gun fire. Instinctively, Adam and Lizzie ducked. Up on the roof of the town hall, rat-masked Zealots waved weapons in the air. On another part of the roof, there was a small blaze of fire moving about. It stumbled a few yards, then fell; it looked like slow motion from that height and distance. The crowd gasped as the fire rolled down the steep ledge of the roof, over the edge, and down to the ground.

It was a person. Self-immolation. There were the jokes about cheese and the rat masks, but the Zealots were prepared to die for their beliefs. Every few weeks someone died, killing themselves with fire, or going up as a suicide bomb. It was crazy — but you couldn't help respecting them for their commitment to their cause: freedom and food for all!

Above their heads, the loudspeakers began to spit out slogans: "Equality! Freedom! Power to the people! Down with corporate profits and greed! The government is in the pockets of the corporations — fight for the right to govern yourselves."

Firearms spat out again from somewhere. People were running to get away. Adam and Lizzie dropped to the ground and followed the crowd out of the square and into Crown Street. Behind them, gunfire started up in earnest. There would be deaths tonight. This was no place for tourists.

* * *

Outside of Albert Square, there were hardly any police at all and the looting went on unopposed. The Arndale shopping center was in pieces; you could walk in and just help yourself. People had brought in cars and vans to carry stuff away wholesale. Adam and Lizzie wandered about the blazing streets, diving in and out of the bro-ken shops, following the crowds. They picked up some scarves from a looted department store, and the anonymity it gave them made them feel untouchable, as if they could spend the rest of their lives living off stolen food like beasts running feral in the trans-formed city.

Later on, the police came back to try to chase the crowds off and make arrests; maybe the war in Albert Square was over. Adam and Lizzie got caught in a camera shop and had to run for it with the uniforms on their tails. But the police got sidetracked by some kids smashing a car. There were so many crimes being committed tonight, the authorities didn't know where to turn.

The night came to an end abruptly. They were tagging along with a crowd running down one of the narrow streets, pursued by a couple of riot police, when another policeman dashed out on them from the side. Adam slipped sideways and got away, but the man grabbed Lizzie by the arm and held on to her.

Excerpted from The Hit by Melvin Burgess. Copyright © 2014 by Melvin Burgess. Excerpted by permission of The Chicken House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Subintentioned Death

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hot Milk
    Hot Milk
    by Deborah Levy
    When people reach their early 20s, they often choose to go abroad – they want to get away from...
  • Book Jacket: Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    by Joy Williams
    I have to preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of religious fiction - not even books ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.