Saturday, August 31, 2019


The Community by Joe Hakim - Book Tour


The Community
A northern coastal city. A sinister, extra-dimensional intelligence is taking hold...
Joe Hakim draws the reader into the heart of a disenfranchised community impacted by strange forces beyond its control. A group of friends: separated by time, choices, and circumstance are reunited by their shared encounters with an uncanny presence that looms over their lives. The seeds were sewn in their childhoods, now they must try and understand what is happening, before it is too late.
Raw and uncompromising, The Community fuses social commentary with a dose of sci-fi horror, to cast a light on an existence spent in the Void.
Publisher’s note: this book contains strong language and explicit sexual references.

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I butter some slices of bread, and we eat off our knees on the sofa. Laura watches the kid’s channel for a while, and then we put Emmerdale on. Although it’s still early, I’m worrying about Lee. I send him a text.
I can feel Laura beginning to slump, so I go and run a bath for her before she’s too tired to bother.
I run it how she likes it: lukewarm with plenty of bubbles. After she slides in, I take the picture that she made at the after-school club and use a magnet to fasten it to the fridge. I tilt my head slightly so my face lines up with Barry’s. He’s trapped in the bedroom as the house begins to fill with water.
Where am I? Where’s Lee? Where’s Laura? I imagine we’re probably just off to the side somewhere, out of the frame of the picture. Perhaps our crayon faces are scribbled into a scream of horror. Or maybe we’re just holding hands, and smiling…
Catching myself drifting, I shake my head, go upstairs to check on Laura. She’s laid out in the bath, her head poking out from the water, a cleft of bubbles under her chin. She looks like a mermaid.
‘Are you alright, darling?’ I say, perching myself on the toilet. ‘How was school?’
Her hands break the surface, her arms swishing about like eels.
‘It was good. We did reading and comprehension in the morning, which I like, and then we did RE in the afternoon.’
‘Really? RE at primary school… what was you learning about?’
‘Are they like Muslims?’
‘No,’ she says, and she giggles. I feel like an idiot.
‘What? What did I say?’
‘Sikhs aren’t anything like Muslims, Mam. They’re like, totally different,’ she says, and then she places her hands either side of her head and uses her fingers and thumbs to block her ears and nostrils, takes a deep breath, and quickly submerges her head.
She stays under for a couple of seconds and then sits up, exhales in a gasp. She rubs her face, runs her hands over her head and through her hair.
‘I mean, they both worship Allah and that, don’t they?’ I try again.
‘Actually, Sikhs believe in something totally different,’ she says. ‘They follow the teachings of Guru Nanak. And they don’t worship Allah. They believe in the constant.’
‘What’s that?’
‘They don’t really know. They think you can’t really know. Like god is something so big and weird that you can’t understand it. But it’s there.’
‘Right. You learn something new every day.’
‘You do with me around,’ she says. ‘I’m going to get out now.’
‘Okay,’ I say. I go and fetch her PJs while she gets dried off.

Author Bio

Joe Hakim lives and works in Hull.
He’s performed spoken word at venues and festivals around the UK, including Latitude, Big Chill and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
He was co-host and organiser of Write to Speak, (Hull Truck Theatre 2009 to 2013).
He is currently working with schools in Hull as part of First Story.
In January 2017, Joe travelled to Trinidad with The Roundhouse and Wrecking Ball Press, as part of the Talking Doorsteps project. This culminated in a performance at the BBC’s Contains Strong Language festival in September 2017, which featured young people from Trinidad’s 2 Cents Movement working alongside young people from Hull’s Warren Youth Project and Goodwin Community Centre.
Theatre work includes co-writing and developing Omni-Science with Brick by Brick, performed at Assemble Fest 2017, and Come to Where I’m From, developed in association with Paines Plough and performed at Hull Truck in May 2017.
The album ‘The Science of Disconent’, his second with musician Ashley Reaks, was released in 2018.
Joe toured and performed with LIFE, a Hull-based punk band, performing on the UK leg of the Slaves European tour.

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