Ratings & Reviews

Log in to review this item
5 People Reviewed This Product
  • By Teddy Davies
    Nov 16, 2011
    I was recommended this book by a colleague and found it to be a fantastically realistic example of valley's life. All too many of the books about the South Wales valleys seem to water down the realities of social deprivation and poverty. I was very impressed by the authors acute attention to detail, particularly when conveying the sheer desperation of the lives of people in South Wales. As someone who has grown up in the Rhymney valley, I felt truly moved by the characters and the book stayed with me for days afterwords. The author has obviously done well for herself as she has managed to escape the grip of the valleys and has admirably presented a true portrait and has offered a platform for people who would otherwise be forgotten in the history books. I applaud her and cannot wait to see more of her work!
  • By Kirsten Martin
    Feb 6, 2011
    ‘Inside the Treacle Well’ was recommended to me by a colleague who had seen Gemma June Howell performing in Cardiff. After reading her utterly gut-wrenching collection in one sitting, all I can say is that this writer has spirit, verve and balls! She tells the real story behind the bullshit headlines and labels put on the socially disadvantaged and disengaged. Someone needs to speak up for them- and that she does! The stories read like a fly-on-the-wall documentary avoiding the middle-class veneer that is rammed down our throats by the mainstream fiction! It's refreshing to see that someone has the guts to present the truth about the lives of the vulnerable -or what the reviewer below (and indeed society at large) refers to as ‘the dregs of society.’ The reality of the characters’ raw lives may be unpalatable for the Chardonnay-swilling, organic-munching ostriches, but in this economic climate, the characters in Gemma’s collection and their dire situations will become more... More > commonplace. I have recommended this book to all of my friends and family, because if at nothing at all, it will stimulate some thought-provoking discussion and debate. I look forward to seeing more from this writer! Kirsten Martin Human Rights Activist & Editor< Less
  • By Nick Fisk
    Jun 1, 2010
    The style of this book is contemporary and very familiar - authors such as Rachel Trezise being a clear influence. As such, the writing is down to earth, and unsophisticated, sometimes overly simplistic. Ocassionally you might almost think that if this is how dumbed down Britain has become, then really it's about time for a re-think. However, there are some quite powerful themes dealt with, and strong emotions - a couple of the stories are touching at times. There is an interesting conflict between the feeling of being stuck in a seemingly bad or difficult situation (the treacle well), while at the same time the sense of love for both the people and place is apparent. The trade of drug dealer is possibly over-glamourised, to the extent that you might almost wish you were one! There is definitely a sense that there is a lot more to come from this writer. She handles both prose and narrative well - although, having said that the language is sometimes simplistic, on one or two occasions,... More > I got slightly lost in the narrative - and I can imagine the writer developing into a successful playwright. The book is accompanied by some excellent photography.< Less
  • By Roger O'Connor
    Jan 17, 2010
    This collection of stories is a little rough around the edges but matches the theme, smacking with gritty realism. The humour is subtle but packs a punch because of it's juxtaposition with a harrowing backdrop of the estate in which the book is set. In my favourite story, Jumping Jack Flash, the style is poetic, rhythmic and experimental. Although there are a couple of stories that weren't as powerful as others, this collection is insightful, evocative and honest in it's delivery and execution.
  • By Irene Strange
    Nov 10, 2009
    A tawdry account of the dregs of society. The by line pertains this work to be "darkly comic" yet there is no humour here. It is, in all, a futile attempt at Irvine Welsh with unconvincing characters and has nothing to teach the reader other than that these people may exist somewhere but who wants to hear them? The narrative is disjointed and dare I say quite boring - I didn't even finish the book, certainly not worth the £10 price tag.
There are no reviews for previous versions of this product

Product Details

Hafan Books
May 9, 2009
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.6 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.5 wide x 11 tall
Report This Content to Lulu >

Moderation of Questionable Content

Thank you for your interest in helping us moderate questionable content on Lulu. If you need assistance with an order or the publishing process, please contact our support team directly.

How does this content violate the Lulu Membership Agreement?


Listed In

More From Gemma Howell