Mick Jackson's first novel, The Underground Man, was hailed by critics worldwide as expertly written (The Times, London),the literary hit of the season (Elle), and "highly imaginative" (New York Times), establishing him as a terrifically funny writer with a gift for visceral impact. Now, with Five Boys, Jackson creates a brilliantly captivating and distinctive tale of the impact of World War II on the home front, bringing to light a lost place and time with an expert touch.When Bobby is evacuated from London to a remote Devonshire village, a strange new chapter of his life begins. Empty of its menfolk, the village is given over to the "stay behinds": the women, the old and young, the nonconscripts, and five terrifying boys who accuse Bobby of being a Nazi spy -- subjecting him to horrible mistreatment. At the center of these eccentric folk is the enigmatic Bee King, a mysterious figure who exercises a powerful, hypnotic influence on the village, and especially the boys.As the days wind down to the D-day invasion, excitement and tension overtake this remote coastal town. While the Allied soldiers crash the beaches along the French coast, the villagers will enact their own drama -- a tense interplay of events that will engulf them all and ultimately reveal the truth about the Bee King.Riveting and thoroughly researched, Five Boys offers an unforgettable poetic fusion of fable and history that is certain to linger with the reader long after the last page has been turned.
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Mick Jackson was born in Great Harwood in Lancashire, England.His first novel, The Underground Man, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread First Novel Award and won the Royal Society of Authors' First Novel Award.While researching Five Boys, he enrolled in beekeeping classes and to this day, keeps two hives at his home in Brighton, England.From Publishers Weekly:
In this funny, touching and highly original novel, a close-knit gang of five boys forms a prism that refracts the idiosyncrasies of WWII English life in a small village in Devon. Ostensibly, the story is about Bobby, a newcomer evacuated from London and the Blitz, who is terrorized and then befriended by the gang. But the real protagonist is the town itself and its unusual denizens: Lillian Minter, the spinster who reluctantly takes Bobby in; the Captain, who spends his days fashioning models of ships wrecked off the Devon coast and, eventually, another newcomer, an apiarist known only as "the Bee King," who introduces the boys to "the harem in the hive." These eccentric characters, and many others, are decisively etched, though the eponymous quintet are strangely undeveloped; only one, Aldred Crouch, emerges from their collective presence. The narrative is episodic, more an integrated collection of seriocomic short stories than a novel with dramatic unity, but these vignettes are a testament to Jackson's writerly skill and imagination. Highly evocative of both time and place, the novel is about the bizarre ways the war affected those left at home and how it changed virtually everything about English life, particularly for the generation too young to serve. Jackson, whose previous book, The Underground Man, was shortlisted for the Booker, has a tender, observant eye and a quirky imagination, qualities that bring this work rare luminosity and insight. (June 4)Forecast: Sales could benefit from Jackson's familiarity to American audiences as a former member of the British bands the Screaming Adbabs and the Dinner Ladies. Booksellers can reference John Boorman's movie, Hope and Glory, for a similar evocation of time and place.
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Book Description William Morrow. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 006001394X Perennial paperback. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1127970
Book Description William Morrow, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX006001394X
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800600139431.0