Born Under Punches by Martyn Waites

Born Under Punches by Martyn Waites

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A mining strike wreaks havoc in a small British coal town

Today Coldwell is desolate, a crumbling town whose streets are lined with empty shops and populated by ghosts. Two decades ago, the city thrived on the back of a coal industry so powerful that in 1984, the union staged a strike intended to bring Britain to its knees. Instead the government broke the strike—breaking Coldwell along with it.

The effect is seen in five citizens of the town: a heroic footballer, a Dean Martin–obsessed thug, an increasingly desperate striking miner, a crusading journalist, and the reporter’s troubled sister. As the story shifts between 1984 and 2001, it becomes clear that what was a political action in the mid-1980s caused permanent changes in the foundation of British life. The bodies buried in 1984 will not stay underground forever.

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