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Friday, 31 May 2019

#The392 @AHicksonLovence @OWNITLDN

About The 392

Set entirely on a London bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury and taking place over just 36 minutes, the events of The 392 unfold through a cast of charismatic characters coming from very different worlds. On the 392 are all the familar faces you might expect to see on any bus ride through inner-city London in the grip of gentrification; delinquent school kids, the high-flyers, the weird, the wonderful and the homeless. These Londoners share two things: a bus journey and a threat. A threat which is ready to blow apart everything they know.

My review of The 392

I was initially drawn to this book by its premise, that of being on a bus journey and meeting the various people who get on the bus, people from all walks of life. I live in a village and get the bus into the city, and I often wonder what each passenger would tell me about their life. The stories they have to share. The 392 enters this world, and what we get is individual stories told from first person perspectives that bind them all together. It's a fascinating, thought provoking and consuming read. 

We meet many different characters from all different walks of life. Just as you would on any bus in the world. We meet Gloria the grandmother, who I have to admit was my favourite, the professional man, a drug addict, school kids plus many more characters.  All sit under one roof on their journey from  Hoxton to Highbury.

The writing flows and uses evocative imagery to describe the London streets and the people that can be seen by gazing through the bus windows. I don't really know London, I live up north, but the culture and city steets were brought to life for me, which  made the environment and the people fully relatable.

Ultimately, this is a character driven novel. We get to know these characters, who talk to us about their life, their hopes and fears. I got to know them and this is what makes The 392 such a compelling read. Because  there is a growing unease as we read, the feeling that something bad is going to happen. It's not until the final pages that we learn the truth, and this is both shocking and emotional, making you question everything. 

The 392 is an emotional journey of a bus ride. It makes you think about the people in your community. How we treat and interact with those who may seem different or 'other'. Ultimately, it makes you realise that we have more in common than we think. This is an important book about culture, identity and what it is to be human. 

I purchased the hardback edition directly from the publisher. 

The 392 is published by OWN IT! and is available to buy in hardback and ebook now.

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