Martin Flanagan, like John Marsden, is one of those rare adults who truly understands what it feels like to be a young person coming of age in today’s world. At barely 100 pages, Faces in the Crowd is not so much a novel as a series of vignettes collected by Flanagan over several decades as a journalist and observer.
Although written for teenagers, not all of the stories are about young people, nor should they be. Flanagan’s purpose is to give some small insight into the human condition, and to highlight the small acts of kindness and courage that occur every day but are often overlooked. These are the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things; they will make you smile with their warmth and cry with their compassion.
In a world where it is all too easy to despair, Faces in the Crowd is a beacon of hope, a genuine argument for optimism.
Martin Flanagan is a writer for The Age.
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