I received a review copy of The Boy Who Said Nothing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mirsad Solakovic, Cass Pennant and John Blake Books.
I will keep this as a mini-review as I don’t want to give too much away. I knew nothing about the Bosnian war and the split of Yugoslavia before approaching this book and I had no idea what to expect. The Boy Who Said Nothing is autobiographical about Solakovic’s life. It’s a moving, memorable, engrossing and often shocking memoir with dark moments aplenty about how a boy fled the Bosnian war, after spending time in concentration camps and witnessing family members murdered, to a new and often almost as harrowing life in Britan where he deals with PTSD, tries to find his place in the world and build a future in alien environments. Arriving in the UK after hell on earth in Bosnia Solakovic deals with life as an immigrant in a very multicultural Birmingham but doesn’t speak any English, deals with bullying and abuse, all whilst never expressing his feelings about what is really going on inside. This book includes acting classes, plenty of fights and skirmishes, body-building, dealing with some of Birmingham’s deadliest gangs, working on the doors on Broad Street, meeting Arnold Swartzenegger and Mike Tyson… etc. What makes this story such a gem to read is that whatever problems or adversity is raised throughout Mirsad remains completely likeable and we are on his side all the way. It seems like he has had an amazingly colourful and eventful life and although littered with tragedy, he has come out of the dilemmas as a better person but never forgot his family, upbringing and his heritage. Highly recommend.