Did you, or did you not, devour every word reported during the trial of the two ten-year-old boys for the murder of the toddler James Bulger? If you did not, and were disgusted by those who did, labelling them ghouls, then you will think of this book about the case as some sort of depraved cashing-in. But if you did anxiously and avidly search for information and enlightenment, as Blake Morrison did (as I myself did), then it will make complete sense to you - you will agree that it is no good shuddering and saying that particular crime was too awful even to think about. It has to be thought about. It must be.
Blake Morrison, a man on his own admission obsessed by the case, has done a lot of thinking and also a lot of feeling. His book is a sort of on-going meditation, set very firmly in both a literary and philosophical framework, and very far from being a cheap, voyeuristic