The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness: A Memoir of an Adolescence
Price : £14.99 & postage in UK £2.50 (or free collection)
Availability : In Stock

Published Date :
Published By Picador
ISBN : 9781509830671
Category : Biographies
Format : Hardback
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What Caveney achieves in this powerful, distinctive memoir is the positioning of his repeated sexual abuse into the landscape of an early Eighties adolescence . . . By turns honest, angry, funny, thoughtful, acerbic and desperately sad . . . Caveney impressively resists reaching easy conclusions . . . The book is percussive with black gags, as Caveney attacks the contradictions of his teenage years. (Richard Beard The Times)

Caveney . . . writes with such robust, defiant attack that he never leaves the reader feeling like a prurient spy. His anger is blistering, any comedy not so much black as bile green . . . Caveney tells the story of his life brilliantly, but still you wish there was another one he could have written. (Sunday Times)

[The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness] is often bleakly funny and, alongside its troubling main theme, tells a more tender story of adolescent male friendship, unspoken parental love and music's redemptive power . . . [Caveney's] voice on the page is humane, big-hearted and without self-pity . . . it demands to be read. (Guardian)

A defiant, important memoir . . . Graham Caveney recounts with great courage and candour how, in the 1970s, as the clever, awkward, nerdy, only child of devoutly Catholic working-class parents in Accrington, Lancashire, he was groomed by a priest at his local grammar school in Blackburn, and then sexually abused by him. [A] well-structured, rounded memoir. (Observer)

The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness is a fascinating book, a hilarious book and a horrifying one. On the surface it is a vivid, funny memoir of growing up in 1970s Lancashire; a wry treatise on the British class system; a hymn to traditions, rituals, ways of life and habits of thought which are already sliding into oblivion. At its core, however, lies something darker, much harder to talk about, and profoundly disturbing. It's a book which blew me away and shook me to the core. (Jonathan Coe)

The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness is about the dark ironies of growing up working class and Catholic in a small industrial town. It is an incredibly powerful book about addiction (to alcohol), music, politics and books and the long road to recovery. (Julie Hesmondhalgh Observer)

Devastating and wonderful. A story that is at times almost unbearable to read except that, in the telling, the story - and the man telling it - somehow, impossibly, become beautiful and whole. Like John Healy's The Grass Arena, Graham Caveney's book is an instant classic. (Howard Cunnell)

Fascinating – an honest and funny book about a clever kid growing up in the North and the long ranging effects of trauma. (Cathy Rentzenbrink)

Extraordinary . . . brilliantly detailed, vivid and frequently very funny . . . A remarkable feat. (Editor's Choice The Bookseller)

A thoughtful tale about music, class, religion and sexual abuse in 1970s and 1980s Accrington . . . Gripping. (Manchester Evening News)

A compelling, often hilarious, and exceptionally powerful account of an 80s adolescence navigated via literature and music, the English class system – and the impact of and recovery from abuse.



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