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Publisher's Summary

The dazzling novel from critically acclaimed David Mitchell.

Shortlisted for the 2006 Costa Novel Award

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2006

January, 1982. Thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor - covert stammerer and reluctant poet - anticipates a stultifying year in his backwater English village. But he hasn't reckoned with bullies, simmering family discord, the Falklands War, a threatened gypsy invasion and those mysterious entities known as girls. Charting 13 months in the black hole between childhood and adolescence, this is a captivating novel, wry, painful and vibrant with the stuff of life.

©2006 David Mitchell (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

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  • papapownall
  • 03-07-21

I could have been there

Being a similar age to David Mitchell, this semi autobiographical novel resonated with me and it took me back to 1982, Set in rural Worcestershire some of the characters and escapades could easily have been plots from TV mockumentary sitcom This Country and it is strange how country teenagers create their own mythologies and social structures. The cultural references to the period were spot on and I loved the mentions of Scalextric and Peanut Yorkie Bars; this was a remarkable year in many ways with the Falklands conflict and Chariots of Fire film and the music and fashions and anyone who lived through it and was a teenager at the time will love the way that the era of brought to life in this book.

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  • hfffoman
  • 01-15-21

Deceptively good

A light story of a picked-on schoolchild, echoing themes churned out in mediocre novels like a sausage machine, but this is deceptively good. Set in 1982, a year I remember extremely well, it captures the period beautifully down to the last detail. Possibly my favourite of half a dozen of David MItchell's books.

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  • Lizzy
  • 02-21-21

Great performance of a beautiful book

Brilliantly read and very easy to listen to. Brought a beautifully poignant book to life.