‘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.
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 x .158 x .15 mm|