Review

Liverpool is a tough, swaggering city with an identity of its own. To be a Liverpudian is to be something unique. And if you happen to be born in one of the festering areas of urban decay you've got to have just that extra edge. You have to be tougher and have that much more swagger than the next boy in order to survive.
The New Savages is a powerful documentary about the lives of four boys - fictitious but all too typical. Marko the doomed 17-year-old half-caste, so cynical and tough that if he lived in an American city he would be dead by now; Bicko, the leader of the Boot Boys, who has got to be hell of a lot tougher and more violent in order to keep his temporary kingship while the legendary Whacker is in jail; Ato, the intelligent white negro boy, who lives in a world of science fiction fantasy and is so unsure of his identity that he moves surely and slowly towards a crack-up; and Trenchy, a gentler white boy who pays lip service to the Boot Boys and struggles to stay free from violence, crime and police records. Then there are the others. Snowy who fell in love with a beef on a day trip to Blackpool a long year ago and can never hustle enough bread to return to her; Parker, a heavy drinking Jamaican who owned six nightclubs and fired a world-famous group after a one-nighter because they 'couldn't play music'; the girls and women clutching their tatty beauty as they fight just that much harder to be accepted; the parents of other boys in the gangs. The book also records the comments of social workers, youth workers, probation officers, planning department officials, teachers, local politicians, lawyers and street corner historians.
The New Savages is a tough unsentimental story of two days in the lives of four boys. On Friday night, the two gangs, half-caste and white, battle; on Saturday, they wait for the action that never, never comes. In this account of their pointless, hopeless lives Timeri Murari brilliantly evokes one of the problem areas of British society.

UK- Macmillan