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Another Elvis Love Child

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256 pages


Janette Jenkins writes like a contemporary, edgy Beryl Bainbridge (from the Bottle Factory Outing days)- with the same sly observation, the same black humour, an eye for the telling detail and a great ear for dialogue. Jack is the 11 year old son of an Elvis impersonator who works the clubs at night and fits wigs by day. As his father struggles to break out of the club circuit to bigger things, Jack, a bit of a nerd but more knowing than he seems, starts to come to grips with the bigger things in his own life - like his father's uncanny talent combined with a frightening tendency to violence, other women, his mother's vulnerability, the fact that his school has burned down, his friends are no-hopers and he has nowhere to go. His father is the sun round which the family revolves - big-hearted, unpredictable, too hot for their small lives - and Jack dreams of taking his mother away, though she herself has sadder, smaller plans. Beautifully written, an offbeat tragic-comic novel about families and growing up, which wonderfully evokes Bolton in the seventies, with an undertow of frustrated violence and a backbeat of Elvis, Dean Martin and other all-time greats.



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