Life! Death! Prizes! by Stephen May (Bloomsbury, £11.99)
18-year-old Billy's mum dies in a bungled robbery and he's left in charge of his six-year-old brother, Oscar. But his new parental duties are somewhat compromised by his morbid fascination with trashy weekly magazines with sensationalist stories worse than his own and an out-of-control obsession with his mother's trailer trash killer. An offbeat oddity with a lightness of touch and brilliantly kooky wit this is a curious joy.
- Beatrice Hodgkin, Easy Living Culture Editor