Tinder Press August 2018
Leaving your childhood behind is easier said than done…
Rich with insight, intuition and humour, Take Nothing With You is a stunning portrayal of a boy on the cusp of adulthood, gleaning from those around him both the glories and the complexities of what being a grown up can mean.
From the very first page I knew this was going to be a book I loved, the writing from beginning to end was exquisite and the reading experience was an absolute pleasure.
This is the story of Eustace, looking back on his adolescent as he in adulthood embarks on a new relationship and undergoes treatment for cancer. Both aspects of the story are beautifully written, engaging and highly readable. This is a book about being an adolescent and developing an understanding about oneself and those around you. The reader is alongside Eustace as he embarks on a voyage of self discovery – a journey from youth into young manhood as he learns not only about relationships and sexuality – his own and others, but also about being different, in terms of class and aspirations as well as sexuality. This book is also about talent and aspirations and with Eustace being a gifted Cellist his story shows his pursuit of this dream and all that that involves.
The characterisation is superb, with Eustace being the central character, this is clearly his story, however the supporting characters are well developed and their stories told through Eustace and in dialogues and inferences.
Patrick Gale is a very special writer whose skill is hard to quantify. However, time and again I find myself falling in love with his books and this was no exception. Writing in a general way about life, he tackles challenges and difficulties in this book sexuality is a central theme, in Notes from an Exhibition it is Mental Illness, in both examples I am left feeling I have gained insight and wisdom from the reading experience.
I was left feeling happy and warmed by this book, it simply is wonderful, about life, about loss and resistance, and friendship and love. The end was sharp, the story was told. I highly, highly recommend this book and if you haven’t read anything by Patrick Gale, then seriously consider rectifying that. I’ve not spoken to anyone who has read this author who doesn’t gush slightly upon seeing a Patrick Gale book, and I can’t add anymore than that. Just wonderful.
Huge thanks to Gerogina Moore for kindly responding to my less than subtle hints and sending me an early copy of this book, which is out August 21st. You made this blogger feel incredibly happy and privileged!