He’s a bum. A guy from nowhere, going nowhere. Charlton. Washed up and sleeping rough, cleaning the pots and pans in Jimi the Mex’s shabby hotel in downtown New York, drinking what few dollars he gets paid in Cooksey’s bar. Until he comes across the kids. The punks. The jerks who spend their lives killing each other on the streets of the Big Apple. In the wastelands. Block after block of stinking, rat-infested, broken-down buildings you wouldn’t keep your pigs in. Few are more than two storeys high and they seem to crouch in the shadows of the giant tower-blocks and multi-million dollar condos of the city beyond. These humbled, crumbling, urine-soaked acres are all that remained of a culture that lived on money and which died when the money moved on, The wastelands. A home for the junkies and the bums. And a battleground for the kids.
It’s a long way from such a place to the manicured acres of Lords cricket ground. But that’s the journey the kids are taken. Guided by their Pied Piper. The bum. Charlton.
Humorous, engaging, original and feel good. New York Not Out by Nick Turnbull.
The Algarve. Sun, sea and sand. And the home of one of Europe’s most fearsome and unkind legends. The Lobisomen. Half woman, half wolf. Cold-blooded and eternal, living on in the bodies of her victims. It was, of course, no more than an old wives’ tale. A story to tell the children. And the tourists. And if there ever had been such a creature, then the bells, books and candles of the monks and priests of three hundred years ago would have buried the legend forever. There was even the story of the burning of the young fisher girl on the edges of the beach, her ashes buried beneath the unblinking gaze of the Algarvean sun. So what was it that Denny had heard in the night? And who was the woman that followed her? The woman with no eyes.
The Algarve that you’ve never seen before. The home of The Lobisomen, a novel by Nick Turnbull.
It isn’t olden-day Salford through rosy-coloured spectacles. Nor is it ‘my life and times’ or ‘growing up on the banks of the Irwell.’ This is the school of hard knocks. It happens to be Salford. It could be anywhere. Anywhere on the planet that brings up children on no money. That houses its residents in damp, often squalid conditions. That gives them no hope of the future and condemns them to a life of poverty, servitude and blunted aspiration. And then invites them to rise above that desolate and miserable landscape. To make a nonsense of the disadvantage it affords and to build a life in which hope is ever the key word, despite whatever grief might lie ahead. In short, to become the walking, talking real life embodiment of all that Kipling celebrated in his poem If.
And if you can imagine just such a place and just such a tale, then this book is for you. Neither a novel, nor a treatise. Just A Proper Story, by Yo Mullen.
At first sight, Portlecombe is a sleepy South Devon fishing village. Everybody’s smiling and the memories or those only of sailing boats and old folks’ tales of days gone by. Which is fine. Until the natural world suddenly isn’t quite so natural any more. A small girl seems to have appeared from nowhere. Animals are behaving oddly. The rowan tree stands cold in the summer sun. And, slowly, a story begins to emerge, almost from the shadows, of the secret that no-one wants to talk about. Of the children who disappeared. And of the strange man in the graveyard. Laughing Boy.
Absorbing, chilling and all-too-believable. Ailsa’s Party by Nick Turnbull.
If what you’re looking for is advice on how to drive your tee shot five hundred yards or sink a forty-foot putt, then beware. This book is not for you. However, if you’re looking for humour, whimsy, wit and characters that conjure up the true spirit of the game of golf, then Turnbull On Golf is for you. Great writing and a genuine sense of celebration, from one of the game’s truly original voices. Articles, features, essays and short stories from the last ten years. Amusing. Entertaining. And a timely reminder of what the game is all about. Which is, quite simply, fun.
A kaleidescopic, colourful and original adventure, celebrating the characters, stories, legends and images of this small corner of the world. A village that can chart its name all the way back to the Saxon years, when it was simply ‘aesc,’ an ash, and ‘ley,’ a field. And, given that sense of history, it’s small wonder that Ashley seems to so perfectly reflect that various, whimsical, thoughtful and impious creature that is the English countryside.
Village children and village elders. Heroes and heroines, past and present. Humorists, story-tellers, poets and photographers. You’ll find them all here. No need to ask what the book’s about. It’s quite simple.
It’s all about Ashley.
Brooke Beever, poetry-loving reporter with the red-top Daily Packet , is wrestling with a career conundrum. He loathes the flaky world of tabloid journalism but depends upon it for a living. Then things get really tricky for the hapless hack.
Wrongly accused of murder, he is pursued by the irascible Cockney copper, Det Chief Insp Arthur Tickett and his alleged victim’s psychopathic son.
This thrilling black comedy, The Day of the Dodo is the inside story of the notorious Strawberry Tart Murders that gripped Fleet Street in 1975.
Beever’s journey to salvation takes him, via Paris and Mauritius, to a rocky outcrop in the Indian Ocean where he eventually finds true love, possibly encounters fellow fugitive Lord Lucan – and discovers a thriving community of extinct birds.
For aspiring journalists, Michael Horsnell - a former reporter with The Times and author of Counterfeiter (Hodder & Stoughton) - includes the Eight Golden Rules of Journalism.