‘A deeply affecting depiction of the uncertainties of childhood and the end of innocence.’ – Mary Costello
‘The texture of London life in the mid-sixties is wonderfully evoked as the backdrop for this beautiful coming-of-age tale. In his spare, tender evocation of a year in Ralph’s life, Carlo Gébler depicts that delicate moment between childhood and the end of innocence.’ – Molly McCloskey
London, Summer, 1964. The Beatles have just released A Hard Days Night and the swinging sixties are fast approaching. Ralph, twelve years old, waves his mother goodbye as she disappears to the U.S. to work for a year, leaving him in the care of Doreen, an Irish housekeeper, and her husband Tom, a labourer.
It is never easy being stuck inside the pill-box of the skull and looking out, particularly when the world is in flux, when it is peopled by chancers and crooks, swingers and adulterers, unreliable friends and – very occasionally – even good people, and when the grown-ups around you play strange games that involve fighting as much as loving each other. Yet Ralph is nothing if not curious, as well as cunning if necessary: he hangs on and gradually, slowly, begins to understand the world as it really is, an experience that frightens, enlightens and surprises him.
A masterful novel by one of Ireland’s finest writers.
‘Gebler lyrically charts young boy’s journey from innocence to maturity…the writing is so authentic in this novel, that one hopes for a sequel.’ – Sunday Independent
‘Suffused with loving recreations of the era and of the mundane nature of daily life in its London suburb…the book transcends these details through its absorbing insights into the frailties and foibles of its principal characters. Ralph himself is a character to cherish, but everyone is given their due in this warm-hearted coming-of-age novel.’ – Irish Independent
‘Heart-warming…a subtle portrait of the first glimmers of sexuality on the threshold of adolescence.’ – The Irish Times
About the Author
Carlo Gébler was born in Dublin in 1954. He is a prison teacher, an occasional film-maker, and a writer. He has written novels including A Good Day for A Dog and The Dead Eight (shortlisted for the Kerry Irish Fiction Prize), the short story collections W.9. & Other Lives and The Wing Orderly’s Tales, works of non-fiction including the narrative history, The Siege of Derry and the memoirs Father & I, Confessions of a Catastrophist and The Projectionist: The Story of Ernest Gébler.
He has also written novels for children as well as plays for radio and the stage, including 10 Rounds, which was shortlisted for the Ewart-Biggs Prize. He is a member of Aosdána. He lives outside Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh, is married, has five children and currently teaches creative writing at Trinity College, Dublin.
Trade Format, PB
|Dimensions||.234 × .158 × .15 mm|