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When I Was Five I Killed Myself is an extraordinary novel about eight-year-old Burton Rembrandt, a child who has been institutionalised and who tells his story with a stark honesty that reveals the chasm between childhood and adulthood.
Howard Buten’s strange, funny and darkly touching tale is an original and acutely sensitive novel. It is all the more remarkable to learn that this novel was first published in 1981, has been translated into eight European languages, and has sold more than a million copies in France alone.
Never before published in Australia, When I Was Five I Killed Myself is a classic novel about childhood that belongs to a tradition of writing that includes William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.
‘This is an exceptional book, describing the world of a confused little boy with style and no artifice.’
‘Burton is an aggressive, alienated, misunderstood soul, who endears himself through Buten’s compassionate, amusing and provocative voice.’