From the Author
What's it about, this Oi, Ref?
What's it all about? If you hate Nick Hornby, you'll love this book. I've tried to steer well clear of all the sentimental garbage, the sitcom situations, soap opera emotional palette (ie very limited), the tired old coming of age structure and the predictable twists of plot that you get in so many modern novels. I've tried to write beyond my own experience - by using my imagination, listening to people - so that this is more than some thinly veiled autobiographical first novel embarrassment. I've also tried to incorporate things that the literature industry tries to ignore - complex characters (let's just say the hero, Tommy Burns, thinks bad thoughts but does good deeds), realistic dialogue, Birmingham, motorbikes-that-are-not-Harleys, ordinary people as well as the glamorous, the eccentric and the fantastic. I was asked by an interviewer if Tommy is really me, and all I can say is, he thinks like me, but he's a much better runner. Since people keep asking, I live in New York because it's the place where I can get things done, and because I like feeling like a tourist. I also spend a fair amount of time in the UK each year, but that's nothing to boast about. That's the subject of my next novel, which I am writing now: England, tourism, love, summertime, unsuccessful suicide, geography, real people, paradise regained. In the meantime I've written a novella about New York and the sort of companies I cover for the Post - internet startups, software conglometares, and the vain, pompous CEOs who populate the business world - which is called <Digital Examination>. Just for a laugh, like.