on 13 March 2014
I didn't know of Ben Watt when i started reading the book, although i've got an old cd by ETBTG. It is excellent, read it very quickly as happens with all good writing, Romany's first husband, Ken, was a very understanding man, the letter he wrote to Romany at the end of their marriage was heart breaking. Romany and Tommy's passionate affair and marriage is brought to life, as is its decline into 'when love has turned to kindliness', and then worse. The closing chapters describing Romany's mental decline reminded me so much of my mum, and the surreal conversations we had. There are no pictures in the Kindle, but looking on Amazon, I can see that Romany was a very beautiful woman, as well as talented, and Tommy an attractive guy, as well as a brilliant musician. Ben Watt is lucky to have those genes.
on 14 July 2014
Gorgeous poetic, beautifully crafted passages - this is a book of typically complex lives written with grace, respect and huge candour. A reminder to us all of the significance of family throughout the lifespan and the changing roles we find ourselves in. Ben is not only a great writer and musician but sensitive and resilient too. Whether you are an Everything But The Girl fan or not this is a great read. More please Ben...
on 1 February 2016
A sign of a truly gifted writer is the ability to take a seemingly mundane subject and transform it into something genuinely compelling. Watt often focuses on the periphery, the minutiae and through the alchemy of his writing he transforms it into something really special. On every page there seems to be a beautiful turn of phrase here or pin sharp detail there, all along keeping his succession of witty, funny and sensitive observations feeding the story like an umbilical cord.
The time line tends to jump back and forth, which can be a little confusing at times but nevertheless this is a colourful, confronting and humorous account told with unflinching honesty that can cut straight to the heart of the matter with laser like precision. This doesn’t always make for comfortable reading but it comes from the heart and it reaches the heart.
on 4 March 2015
I read this book having seen a review in the paper and without knowing Ben's musical background (despite being a child of the 80s too). I just liked the sound of the story and it is a great story in itself. But what lifts it beyond that is his writing - by god he writes beautifully, I was pretty stunned by the quality of the writing and as soon as I finished it I read Patient too, purely on the basis of his writing style. That was brilliant too - never thought I would say I enjoyed a book about the intricate details and agonies of a rare medical condition! But again - stunning writing and I would love to read more from him. In the meantime I shall be looking up his music ...