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Rascals in the Gutter


In the best tradition of young adult novels, but with a fresh voice, Josip Čekolj recounts the story of his rascals — four friends on the brink of adulthood. Although the town through which they roam is imaginary, their love and confusion, their conflicts and blunders, much like their need for warmth and belonging are all very real. As the rascals learn to find their way ‘in the gutter’, various characters show up to guide them along. Some are more trustworthy than others, and they largely come from the fringes of society, with perhaps the most important being an old lady with her cats and flair for poetry. And as usually happens in coming-of-age stories, their wading through murky waters becomes a first step towards maturity. The inspiration for this book was the exhibition ‘Rascals and Frogs’ by the visual artist Dominik Vuković, themed around memories of childhood. He illustrated this edition in close collaboration with the author, resulting in a special relationship between the text and illustrations.