Written in the first person, Billy Liar is a tale of pure escapism. Billy Fisher - a child in an adults body - is torn between his daydreams in his make believe nation of Ambrosia - and the harsh realities of life in a non-descript Yorkshire town of the 1950's. His inability to apply himself to all those things his peers expect of him, and to adherr to the tasteless lifestyle that those around him take for granted, force him to invent, and emerse himself in, his own realities to rationalise away the problems and obstacles he faces in life - his best weapon in this pursuit being his lies. Pretty soon he becomes tangled in the ever spiralling webs of deceit he spins to maintain three engagements, an illusory brother and sister, and mounting problems at Shadrack and Duxbury funeral homes his place of work and constant source of unease. Billy's descriptions of the everyday people around him and their everday lives are razor sharp - not least of all his parents and grandmother so predictable in their breakfast table conversation that those scenes appear to Billy as perverse scethches from a bad soap opera, painfully drawn out through the same dialogues each morning. Billy is a hypochondriac and obsessive, yet eternally optimistic without good cause and darkly comic in his appraisal of the world around him and its inhabitants. This is the kind of book you'll either love or hate depending on whether there is any Billy Liar in you, and whether you ever escape to your own Ambrosia.
26 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?