The Panopticon

The Panopticon

A Novel

Book - 2013
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An Amazon Best of the Year pick and named one of NPR, Library Journal, and Flavorwire's Best of 2013 novels, THE PANOPTICON is a dazzling debut by one of Granta 's Best Young British Novelists

Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car. She is headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember what's happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais's school uniform is covered in blood.
Raised in foster care from birth and moved through twenty-three placements before she even turned seven, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Now a counter-culture outlaw, she knows that she can only rely on herself. And yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets the world with the witty, fierce insight of a survivor.
Anais finds a sense of belonging among the residents of the Panopticon - they form intense bonds, and she soon becomes part of an ad hoc family. Together, they struggle against the adults that keep them confined. When she looks up at the watchtower that looms over the residents though, Anais knows her fate: she is an anonymous part of an experiment, and she always was. Now it seems that the experiment is closing in.

Named one of the best books of the year by the Times Literary Supplement and the Scotsman , The Panopticon is an astonishingly haunting, remarkable debut novel. In language dazzling, energetic and pure, it introduces us to a heartbreaking young heroine and an incredibly assured and outstanding new voice in fiction.
Publisher: New York : Hogarth, 2013, ©2012.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780385347860
Characteristics: 282 pages ;,25 cm


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Dec 19, 2018

people - "contempotrary mystery" "teens in trouble" Its Dark. Everyone is in a bad situation. But you can't help falling in love with the characters

Sep 09, 2016

I am amazed that I liked this book so much. At first I was put off by the Scottish brogue, by the foul language and by the very nature of the main character. However, all my objections went away as I became absorbed in and affected by story.

It is a wonderfully written book

Jun 14, 2015

The story of a child, let down by everyone for all of her 15 years, but a survivor. The voice of Anais is authentic. A righteous book.

Jul 25, 2014

An exquisitely written, authentically voiced tale of a young woman struggling to find a sense of self when she has never known either parent and has spent much of her life in foster care or juvenile detention. Harrowing and heartbreaking and surprisingly hopeful as this tough, smart and ultimately ethical character navigates a society more focused on locking her up than giving her a leg up.

May 13, 2014

The panopticon was a type of prison created by English writer/thinker Jeremy Bentham, who described it as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example." Later, controversial philosopher Michel Foucault used it as a metaphor for control. This book is not as interesting as these guys and squanders a good premise. Oh, hope you're comfortable with the c-word.

Jan 29, 2014

Picked this book up randomly off the New Book Shelf. Wow! Like striking gold! Yes, this is a dark tale of a fierce teenage girl who is struggling to find her way out of a dark world of drugs, violence, and the foster home/juvenile court system. Beautifully written!

SLS71 Jan 16, 2014

I love this book. Finished it last night and it's stuck in my head to the point that I don't want to start my new book! Anais is a fantastic heroine. A reviewer on here said she's fierce; she truly is. There are some very harrowing moments/incidents that are difficult to read (which is not a negative), but there is also a lot of grace and humor. I laughed out loud more than once. This girl is a bit twisted, and I wish I knew her in real life.

Sep 28, 2013

A compelling first novel told in the voice of a fierce young Scottish lesbian.

Sep 26, 2013

Anais Hendricks is a 15 year old drug fiend who pulls other girls' hair and beats them to within an inch of their lives. She juggles girlfriends and boyfriends and wears a treasured Indian headdress while prancing around in her undies on acid. She's Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Panopticon, kids! When Anais lands herself in a group home for problem teens with a spooky watchtower a strict open-door policy, the novel's dystopic vibe kicks into high gear and we watch as her layers are peeled back and reality dissolves around her. It's Scottish poet Jenni Fagan's first novel, and she makes dirty-mouthed teenagers sound more profound than Homeric bards. With Anais she's created my favorite kind of heroine — a bad girl in a worse place who claws her way out by her own off-kilter code of honor.

Jun 25, 2013

I was at first a little reluctant to read this due to inapproprate language. After about 15 pages I realized this was completely necessary to understand the character...then I was hooked and could not put the book down til I could find out what happened!

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