THE WILD

There are many wild places in this world. 
Among the most formidable, a vast toxic dustbowl that was once an ocean - 
The Aral Sea, way out in Kazakhstan.


Here, sixteen-year-old Alexi and his kid brother Misha watch rockets go up from a distant cosomodrome. Their livelihood depends on the precious metal boosters that fall back to earth. But rival wrecking crews are a constant threat, as are Misha's seizures, and Alexi is determined to seek care for his brother before time runs out. 

Taking flight under fire, Alexi crosses borders with Misha to Moscow, hoping for medical help. The Russian capital may be 'just another kind of wild' to the boys, but this is a very different landscape to their homeland ...


Alexi will do anything for his brother, but can he save him in this urban hell?


Praise for The Wild:

The Scotsman: Top Ten Teen Novels 2005
Shortlisted for the Renfrewshire Teenage Book Award 2007
Longlisted for the 2007 Wirral Paperback of the Year 

The author's previous Boy Kills Man was triumph enough; this book is just as good. Written with convincing authority ... the novel is a superb achievement.
The Independent 

The Wild is a moving and harrowing book that is an inspirational - but unsettling - read. Whyman creates both misery and hope on the same page and is skilled enough to keep the tale from being sentimental ... the result is an evocative and heart-rending novel that is likely to stay in the minds of readers who seek tales of adventure spliced with humanity.
The Sunday Morning Post 

A superb and horribly believable futuristic novella about boys in Kazahkstan who scavenge for a living amongst nuclear debris and fallen rockets.
Achuka 

"A very powerful book. I went on thinking about it long after I had finished it."
Claire Morrell, Open Book, Radio 4

A sensitive, raw novel ... deserves to be read not only as a powerfully descriptive work of fiction, but as a reminder to those who live in affluent 'highly developed' places of how very fortunate they are.
School Library Association

Poignant, unsentimental writing combines with original and breathtaking subject matter. This new novel further establishes Matt Whyman as a powerful and original new voice.
Publishing News

In this truly heartbreaking story, the reality of a life in a harsh and toxic environment is hard-hitting and remorseless. Beautifully crafted and strangely haunting, The Wild explores our need to belong, particularly in the absence of hope.
Booktrusted

The uncompromising toughness of style and theme which typified Matt Whyman's highly praised 2004 young adult novel, Boy Kills Man, is again a key feature in his new book. In essence, this is the story of survival, in which we trace the hazardous journey undertaken by 16-year-old Alexi and his 9-year-old brother, Misha as they abandon their native Kazakhstan and make their way to Moscow ... portrayed poignantly but not sentimentally ... their youthful heroism more than compensates for the "wildness" (human, environmental and political) which everywhere surrounds them.
The Irish Times

The author follows up the excellent Boy Kills Man with a heartrending story set in another unusual choice of locations: Kazakhstan and Moscow ... A well-written, hard-hitting tale from this original and talented writer."
Publishing News Bookseller's Choice (John Newman)

  • UK paperback July 2005 (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Also published in translation in Sweden


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