David Almond and Dave McKean's The Savage is a hybrid prose and graphic novel which tells the story of one young man’s maturation through literacy. The protagonist learns to deal with the death of his father and his own 'savage' self by writing a graphic novel. This article reads The Savage in the context of earlier, 'Northern' literacy narrative - particularly Tony Harrison's poem "Them & [uz]" and Barry Hines' Kes — through the discourse of neoliberalism and the notion of the reluctant boy reader. It is suggested that Almond and McKean are influenced by currently dominant ideologies of gender and literacy
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