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On The Cover Of A Magazine
on 27 October 2014
The title refers to the bizarre phenomenon of those weekly magazines that juxtapose truly tragic human story headlines on their front covers, usually along with an image of an inanely grinning woman, as though she is glad not to have befallen any of the bad luck highlighted on said cover. Bad luck indeed for 19-year-old Billy who has to taken on responsibility for his young brother after the death of their mother. (The little brother's father not being the type to help out in any way, shape or form).
Billy's initial struggle is to convince the authorities, even their aunt, that he is capable of looking after Oscar. (Their worries seem well founded when Billy's interesting take on bill paying is uncovered in the book, written from his point of view.)
This wasn't as easy or as likeable a read as first thought, the character of Billy seemed remarkably naive in the ways of the world for a 19-year-old. Especially one raised by a single parent, perhaps not all are able to teach their offspring how to be self sufficient. It is not really explained. However for those who think this might be like Nick Hornby, it is not as morose in style and although this reader wasn't able to really get in to the novel there are many who would simply love this style, the story and the characters.