Monday, 17 June 2013

The Radio

Author: M Jonathan Lee

Published: April 2013

What they say:
A comedy so black that you'd have to eat a lot of carrots to know whether George's adventures are actually visible. The Radio centres around the decline of the lovable, yet hapless George Poppleton, a middle-aged, henpecked father and husband who stumbles across an old transistor radio in his loft. His obsession with listening to the radio drives him on an unexpected journey, fuelled by the painful memories of the suicide of his only son many years before. Whilst his only daughter, Sam, and wife, Sheila, plan perhaps the most ill-fated wedding ever conceived, the radio transports George further and further away from reality. When a garlic baguette is used as a lethal weapon and the hogs finally take a stand and turn on the farmer who is about to roast them, nothing is likely to go as smoothly as the family may have hoped. The accidental return of Sam's ex-fiance, David, coupled with the endlessly drunk Auntie Lesley ensures that an almighty farce is just around the corner. The Radio ends with an unimaginable twist, when the family realise that things are not at all how they seemed. It is a story of what it means to be a family, the perception of loving and being loved, and what it means to be sane. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys family-based modern contemporary fiction with both poignancy and humour. Jonathan has been inspired by a number of novels, including Alex Garland's The Beach, and his writing is comparable to Mark Haddon, Nick Hornby and Joseph Connolly.

What Sheli says: I was expecting good things from this book when I started it, but never expected it to be as good as it was!

We meet George who is a loveable father figure who is just a little eccentric, and his wife Shelia and daughter Sam. They are a fairly typical family with their fair share of dysfunctional attributes! George, the downtrodden husband finds an old radio that he starts tinkering around with while his wife and daughter go out and have fun while he looks after his grand daughter. The tinkering becomes a bit more than that when he and the radio become inseparable and it becomes the most important thing in his life.

Some parts of the book had me laughing out loud, most had me chuckling, but some bits were desperately sad. The book was fabulously written and it was a real pleasure to read. It's easy going style and good pace kept me gripped and I finished the whole thing in a day. I'd love to read more about George and his family, and a little birdie had told me that there is more to come.

A fantastic book which is comparable to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Lost and Found. You should all go and buy it now!!

Sheli's rating: 10/10

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