Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Young Adult Fiction Music

New Dark Ages

The X Gang

by (author) Warren Kinsella

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2018
Music, Coming of Age, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
Recommended Age
15 to 18
Recommended Grade
10 to 12
Recommended Reading age
15 to 18
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2018
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The X Gang face off with Earl Turner, a presidential candidate straight out of their nightmares.

It is a dangerous, divisive time in America. A far-right political candidate is seeking the presidency and stirring up hatred against minorities. The X Gang, meanwhile, have lost one of their friends to that presidential candidate — and are encountering manifestations of hate practically everywhere they go.

With his band, the Hot Nasties, about to embark on its first North American tour, and several recent murders in the punk scene linked to its gigs, Kurt Blank and the rest of the X Gang have some difficult decisions to make.

New Dark Ages is about surviving in a nasty, brutish, and short-sighted time — and whether one should just go along or fight back.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Warren Kinsella is an author, musician, lawyer, and political consultant. Recipe for Hate, is book one in the X Gang series. Warren plays bass in a punk rock group called SFH and runs the popular blog The War Room. He lives in Toronto.

Excerpt: New Dark Ages: The X Gang (by (author) Warren Kinsella)


Hello, you bastard.

It was hard to believe. Like a bad fucking movie. But it was happening, right there, right then, right in front of our eyes.

It was that night. The night before the last day.

I looked over at X, and his eyes — one pupil dilated, one not, as always — were squinting at the TV. His fists were clenched. He looked pissed, as if he was going to punch the screen or something.

The TV cast a bluish glow over my non-family’s family room. My mother was standing in the doorway to the kitchen, and she was watching, too. She had her arms crossed, but she seemed to be nodding about some of the things being said. By him.

I looked back at the TV, and at Earl Turner, who was still standing behind the podium in downtown Portland. There was an American flag on the front of the podium, and below that, in big block letters, was the word RIGHT. His slogan. His word.

As usual, Turner was wearing a white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. As usual, his regimental tie was loose at the neck. You could tell he worked out. Behind him, an enthusiastic crowd of supporters were assembled. They were clapping and nodding their heads.

X and I weren’t really watching Turner. We were watching one of the people just behind him who was clapping and nodding his head, just like the rest of the assembled crowd.

I could not fucking believe this shit. I hated it. And hate was what Earl Turner’s speech was all about, pretty much. It usually was. Hate for refugees and immigrants and welfare moms and anyone, basically, who didn’t look like Earl Turner and his friends. Hate dressed up in fine-sounding words about patriotism and family and country and all that horseshit. Hate was Earl Turner’s thing, and it had brought him to this, his big moment. The confetti and the balloons — red, white, and blue — were ready to be dropped from above.

Turner was coming to the big wind-up in his speech. He always ended it the same way. “America,” he said, his booming voice sounding tinny on my mother’s old RCA. “America is for Americans. America is for the righteous. America is for the bold. America is for those who believe in God, those who love God, those who fear God. America isn’t for everyone. America is for normal people like us!” He paused, a big fist hovering above the podium. We couldn’t see them, but the crowd at the hotel had started to chant: “RIGHT RIGHT! RIGHT! RIGHT! RIGHT!”

Midway through — and this had happened before — “RIGHT!” changed, and the crowd started to chant a different word: “WHITE! WHITE! WHITE! WHITE! WHITE!”

Earl Turner smiled, that big square-jawed quarterback all-American douchebag smile of his, and waved for the crowd to settle down. “Right,” he said. “Right is …”

The crowd screamed as one, like a beast. “WHITE!”

Earl Turner leaned into the gaggle of network microphones. He smiled. This was his moment. This was it. He had won. He knew it. Everyone knew it.

He started to speak. It was the part of the speech about how God “created” America. At that point, the young guy behind him — the one we’d been watching — stepped forward. He was wearing a white shirt and tie, just like his hero. We could see his broad, freckled face clearly. At that moment, Turner saw him, too, and clapped a big hand on the young man’s shoulder.

It was our friend, Danny. When he was drumming in my band, his stage name had been Danny Hate. He looked different now. He was different. He and Turner looked at each other and smiled, like father and son, like some fucking Norman Rockwell painting. Behind me and X, my mother whispered just one word: “Danny.”

The crowd kept on cheering, calling out RIGHT and WHITE. They were screaming it.

“Enough,” said X, and that was all he said.

Editorial Reviews

This book will hit home for older, politically aware teens looking for a story of unconventional heroes rising up against reckless hate.


New Dark Ages takes readers into a world not often explored in teen literature — punk rock culture of the early 1980s.

CM Magazine

This fast paced, engaging and entertaining read is also extremely timely, and one we should all pay attention to as we sadly witness the rise of a dangerous new form of alt-fascism.

— Jim Lindberg, Pennywise

Other titles by