Children of the Sun: By Max Schaefer, 391 pgs. By Andy Conway

Children of the Sun is a riveting affair that, much like its main character, Nicky Crane, a closeted homosexual who was also a reputed neo-Nazi skinhead, succeeds at being two things at once. The book is one part fictional account of James, a gay writer living in London, researching Crane and gradually becoming obsessed with him. The other part is a scrapbook of actual press clippings and fliers detailing the rise and fall of the contemptuous neo-Nazi movement in England, with Crane and notorious racist skinhead band, Skrewdriver being featured heavily. Max Schaefer transports the reader through time, going from the ugly, gritty violence of Crane’s heyday in the late 1970s to James’ life as a young writer immersing himself in the paradox of Nicky Crane in modern times. Schaefer’s vividly descriptive style of writing lends itself to a compelling work of fiction, and the history lesson, while focused on inarguably the ugliest youth and music movement in recent history, is eye opening as well. (Soft Skull Press, softskull.com)