A book about benefits, scrounging and honest hard work.
Written by Rowan Blair Colver, cover image painted by Vanna Alberti.
A fictional discussion of the real life behind the concrete curtain, where politicians and lawmakers seem to always know what's best but have never spent so much as a night in the shoes of the people they affect. Scum looks at a small period of time in the life of a young man, any young man, who is on his own, doing his best and has not yet found his way onto the social ladder. Torn between the priorities of his friends, the community and the job centre, the classic vision of 'life in front of daytime tv' is washed away with some very realist, gritty and honest commentary. From the author of "A Poet, On Park Hill?" Colver brings his fourteen plus years experience of living life under the shadow of this stereotype. Exciting, fresh and with a healthy dose of spice, Scum will entertain you first, make you laugh and then maybe help you think again when discussing welfare and what a modern nation can be expected to offer for its citizens. With some swearing and brief but mild erotic scenes, Scum is a book suitable for an adult audience. It also may be suitable for some teenagers.
The story begins in the workplace and our hero, Raymond, is not doing very well with his marketing targets. We soon discover why, he is not cut out for this kind of work. He cares too much, he's kind and he doesn't feel comfortable with bending the truth. After meeting Skye, a woman who he can't help but preoccupy his thoughts with, and then going home to his lodged room with an 'ex' drug addict hippy with an inherited property, everything falls apart. We read as Raymond attempts to claw himself into security of self and home despite the efforts of the people around him to make use of his predicament for their own gain, in return for assistance. With the continual media bombardment of anti welfare politics and the emotive comments made by heavyweight personalities who haven't so much as claimed housing benefit in their lives, Scum turns the tables and illuminates the truth as to what it can be like when we are on the bottom rung of the social ladder.
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Read an interview with the Author: Rowan Blair Colver