Posted on 9th December 2014

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

Whatever Happened to Billy Parks

In footballing parlance, there’s something more than a little ‘route one’ about Gareth R Roberts’ Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? and its efforts to emulate the success of David Peace’s bestseller The Damned United. The cover font and colour combination are pretty direct simulacra, and its game-of-two-halves structure (alternating chapters between the rise to prominence…

Posted on 14th July 2014

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

Whatever Happened To Billy Parks?

In 2014, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize worked with the Regional Literature Development Agencies to find reading groups across the UK to read the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize-winning titles. Whatever Happened To Billy Parks? by Gareth R Roberts was read by the Nottingham Readers from Nottingham and below are reviews from its reading group members. 

Posted on 19th June 2014

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

Whatever Happened to Billy Parks?

Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? is a darkly comical, fantastically engaging and unabashedly sentimental portrait of a once great footballer that grapples with many modern-day preoccupations – alcohol addiction, the effects of fame and how we mythologise our sporting heroes – but never at the price of fine, page-turning storytelling.” Arifa Akbar, literary editor of The…

Posted on 15th May 2013

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

Black Bread White Beer

I love the title of Niven Govinden’s third novel, Black Bread White Beer, partly for its ambiguity – it’s never explained or even really illustrated during the book, though do I hear an echo in it of David Bowie’s mid-90s album Black Tie White Noise? True, there is a soggy, inedible café sandwich that plays its…

Posted on 14th May 2013

Posted by Sam

Tags: , , , ,

Black Bread White Beer

‘A relationship exposed through the excruciating grief of an early miscarriage…a fluent, involving novel that takes the reader’s sympathies and emotions to the quietest, often most unrecognised limits of human pain.’ Lynne Hatwell  Literary Blogger at dovegreyreader scribbles Synopsis: Amal is driving his wife Claud from London to her parents’ country house. In the wake…

Posted on 8th November 2011

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , , , ,

Something Beginning With…

A nose through Sarah Salway’s bibliography reveals the recently appointed Canterbury Laureate’s penchant for concise form. She’s published two books of short stories, the second a joint effort with Lynne Rees featuring 300 pieces of precisely 300 words each; her publishing company Speechbubble Books, co-founded with friend and colleague Catherine Smith, is devoted to providing…

Posted on 18th October 2010

Posted by Sophie

Tags: , , ,

Fiction Uncovered by… Scott Pack, The Friday Project

The author I wish everyone was reading (but next to nobody in this country is) would be Charles Baxter. Baxter is an American writer with awards coming out of his ears over there. His work has been compared to Anton Chekhov, William Trevor and Alice Munro. Personally, I prefer him to all three, and I…