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"Paperboy" by Christopher Fowler

Paperboy - Christopher Fowler

This is the third consecutive book I have read by Christopher Fowler - and all have been very different. Paperboy is a memoir of Christopher Fowler's childhood in suburban London during the 1950s and 1960s. He was a lonely boy who spent his days between the library and the cinema, whilst devouring novels and comics.

His family was very dysfunctional: a curious combination of the entertainingly eccentric, wilfully self-defeating and endearingly ordinary. Christopher Fowler perfectly captures the grim monochromatic world of post-war Britain before it became a more colour world from the late-1960s and, to an extent, broke free of the post-war world of tight-lipped austerity, stultifying conformity and thwarted ambition. 

Paperboy is far from perfect, and frequently felt meandering and lacking in focus, however there are more sections that are funny, charming, poignant and wise than anything else, and overall I enjoyed it. I'd say people who grew up in Britain in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s would probably get more out of it as it's such a rich and astute evocation of an era that felt very familiar despite my being ten years younger than Christopher Fowler.