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212 pages3 hours


Opening amongst the narrow, grimy, tree-free streets of 1930s East London where his titular hero is growing up and making sense of his world in the run-up to war, Champion brilliantly captures the claustrophobic life of work, traditional gender roles and family amongst the white working class that once dominated these neighbourhoods, deploying his mastery of conversation to powerful effect as he anatomises the rules, restrictions and unspoken resentments that define a tightly bounded, long lost world.
A second narrative, initially located in New York, collides with the first in rural East Anglia which sees a blue collar lecturer on an intellectual journey that probes identity and the inherent contradictions between nature and nurture.
Once again, Champion has produced a clever novel that is both distinctive and profoundly unsettling, exposing the emotional emptiness of both the superficially cheery cockney culture and the loquacious, self- regarding grove of academe.

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