Old Boys, a review by Joanna

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Old Boys

Nick Spalding

310 pages

Published on June 15th, 2023

Lake Union publishing

🎸🎸🎸🎸

Old Boys is a contemporary comedy about a middle-aged man reconnecting with the rock star father he hasn’t seen for thirty years. I’d read a few books by this author some years ago, and found the first ones hilarious, but then started to find them a bit repetitive. I was in the mood for something light hearted, though, and a book about an ageing rocker is always going to tickle my fancy. While I didn’t find it particularly funny, I liked the character evolution, the message, all the musical references and the heart warming ending.

Will Fairweather’s wife has had enough of his moping about, worrying about getting old, and refusing to do anything fun. When she asks him to move out for a trial separation, he doesn’t know what to do, and with limited options of where to live, he is forced to move in with his eccentric father Red, the wild drummer with legendary 70s rock band Holy Moly. Red wants to make up for all the years he missed of his son’s life, but Will finds it hard to forgive, despite his father’s increasingly nutty antics. Can Will rediscover his inner teenager and learn to live again before it’s too late?
This is told from Will’s first person present perspective, and for most of the book he’s a rather annoying sad sack – I really felt for poor Audrey. Then he has to learn to live with Red, who I confess would drive me nuts, but their interactions are the heart of the book, even if the humour was rather too slapstick for my taste. The bittersweet last quarter was the part I liked best, as Will and Red finally start to communicate and understand each other. I also loved Holy Moly and kinda wished they were real as their songs sounded awesome! Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the ARC.

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