Eat Your Heart Out De Selby

Could I have approached a book with more trepidation? From a publishing house that seems to specialise in Buddhist philosophy, I expected to be lectured at for the three hundred odd pages, but this autobiographical account of the eponymous odd boy turned out to be more charming than banal.

Set in the south of England in the late fifties and early sixties, an odd boy describes the journey from childhood to adolescence of a boy that’s different from all of his peers and will strike a chord with anyone who has felt like they didn’t belong. The narrative is told through his twin obsessions of blues music and art, it describes a cold upbringing tempered by the friends and delta blues musicians who became his real family.

It’s far from perfect, however, the author seems to obsess about explaining every minute detail through a use of footnotes that the late Flann O’Brien savaged in The Third Policeman. Nothing is left to the reader, with the narrative rudely interrupted to explain such esoterica as the BBC or skiffle. We have Wikipedia, we don’t need to understand every detail.

But apart from that, the first volume in what I suspect will be a long series is an interesting, if light, diversion. Perfect for lying on a rock beach during the Easter heatwave.

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Comments

  1. Doc Togden says:

    Re. 'Eat Your Heart Out De Selby' . . . who is De Selby? And . . . is Damien Ryan the critic who wrote the notes above? If so – I would advise that it is not mandatory to read footnotes – that is why they are footnotes. As to 'an odd boy' being far from perfect – that would also apply to the felllow who wrote it.