Game Show

It is November 1992 and in the suburbs of a Bosnian town a small family cowers in the basement of their shattered home. Over the next 48 hours Gustav, a 10 year old Bosnian Muslim boy, will watch his neighbours herded like animals through the streets, witness a brutal attack on his sister and be caught up in a bloody massacre perpetrated by soldiers who act with absolute impunity; their actions will have no come-back. The only way he can rationalize events is as ‘a game without rules. No-one was in control.’

Meanwhile in a nondescript British town preparations are being made for a cutting-edge TV game Show. It promises contestants dangerous excitement and radical self-discovery in a closed environment where action and consequence bear no relation to each other; the game has no rules, no structure and no-one is in control. ‘Game Show’ explores issues of personal identity, choices and individual accountability against a backdrop of a war that becomes a game and a game that becomes a war.

All the strands are pulled tighter and tighter together then tied into a very satisfying knot, complete with bow, at the end.
A powerful, disturbing book.

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Leo gyrated across the floor, an icon, resplendent in uniform a-glitter with medals and insignia. The lights swirled and flashed. Cameramen swooped across the floor. The music was deafening. Soon everybody in the seating area was on their feet, clapping, stamping, encouraged by the personnel in headphones. At the end of an unoccupied row towards the back of the auditorium, Celia alone retained her seat, her face a ghastly mask.

Finally, he had come.

‘Come on now, come on now, let me see now, let me see now,’ Leo intoned, his voice amplified all around the studio, extending an immaculately tailored arm and pointing a finger tantalisingly at members of the audience.

‘Pick me, pick me!’ they chorused, responding obediently to his beckoning finger.

He kept them waiting, playing them, drawing them. Then: ‘who have we here?’ He stabbed his finger at one of the youngsters, a member of the coach party.  She screamed, clapping her hands to her mouth. Her friends all cheered, pushing her forward. The music decreased a few decibels as Leo pulled his prey to centre stage.