Book choice for May 2013

The Truth About These Strange Times [suggested by Beth Garratt Glass]

The Truth About These Strange Times

Saul Dawson-Smith can memorise the sequence of a shuffled deck of cards in under a minute; he can recite pi to a thousand decimal places and he remembers every conversation he's ever had. He is ten years old.

Howard McNamee is twenty-eight: lonely, overweight and poorly educated. He lives far from the scene of his difficult Glasgow childhood, in the home he shared with his mother. Struggling to pay his rent with a succession of menial jobs, Howard comes home each day and talks to the late Mrs McNamee, as he sits in front of the wardrobe that still contains her clothes.

These two solitary people find themselves forming an unlikely friendship, as Howard is taken under the wing of Saul's parents, thrust into a life in London (where he tries to navigate a bewildering new city and accidentally acquires a Russian internet fiancee), and Saul prepares himself for the World Memory Championships - the event he has been training for his whole life.

But as the pressure mounts on the young boy Howard realises he must act to save his small friend from a life of unbearable expectation. The decision he reaches turns all of their lives upside down.

Saul and Howard embark on an extraordinary adventure: the road trip they take together is an exhilarating escape-bid, a journey into Howard's past and a bewitchingly strange voyage of discovery for man and boy. [Product description from Amazon]

About the Author

Wikipedia entry.

 

Shortlisted for this month

Continuing our main book selection where proposers can bring up to three books for consideration, Beth's other choices were:

The Electric Michelangelo

The Electric Michelangelo

On the windswept front of Morecambe Bay, Cy Parks spends his childhood years first in a guest house for consumptives run by his mother and then as apprentice to alcoholic tattoo-artist Eliot Riley. Thirsty for new experiences, he departs for America and finds himself in the riotous world of the Coney Island boardwalk, where he sets up his own business as 'The Electric Michelangelo'. In this carnival environment of roller-coasters and freak-shows, Cy becomes enamoured with Grace, a mysterious immigrant and circus performer who commissions him to cover her entire body in tattooed eyes.

Hugely atmospheric, exotic and familiar, The Electric Michelangelo is a love story and an exquisitely rendered portrait of seaside resorts on opposite sides of the Atlantic by one of the most uniquely talented novelists of her generation. [Product description from Amazon]

About the Author

Wikipedia entry.
Author's website.

Ours Are The Streets

Ours Are The Streets

When Imtiaz Raina leaves England for the first time, to bury his father on his family’s land near Lahore, he exchanges his uncertain life in Sheffield for a road that leads to the mountains of Kashmir and Afghanistan. Once back in Yorkshire, he writes through the night to his young wife Becka and baby daughter Noor, and tries to explain, in a story full of affection and yearning, what has happened to him – and why he has a devastating new sense of home. [Product description from Amazon]

About the Author

Wikipedia entry.

 

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2011

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2007

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2006

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