Saturday, December 26, 2009

Believe in the Sign by Mark Hodkinson - reviewed

I reviewed Mark Hodkinson's novel here - it's called The Last Mad Surge of Youth. If that wasn't a hearty enough recommendation, then one of my top 3 bloggers, here, has also picked up on the author's "ear" and it's authentic qualities - a rock novel you can believe in, he says.

For more, then I can also testify to the delights of Believe in the Sign, Hodkinson's memoir loosely based around following his hapless football club. But really it is a broader reflection on growing up in a northern town in the 1970s and 1980s. I liked it because it is honest, true and full of warmth. There is plenty of crossover with his novel (and why not?) and certainly a great deal more about the lows and more lows of following Rochdale FC. But it's achingly good; it manages to be vivid without being nostalgic or twee, which takes some doing. The passages about his relationship with his parents are just wonderful.

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