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Frank's Wild Years: A tense and taut thriller you can't put down Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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We have an interesting story of Frank, a man with a chequered past, still mourning the loss of his true love through his deceit and weakness in refusing to disassociate himself from criminal sorts.
Frank is coerced away from his bar stool to try and help Carl. Carl has embarked on a suicide mission to Hull to try and get his daughter back from some pond life up North. Does Frank still have it in him to sort things out, with one last hurrah or is he an old soak better suited to frittering his days away in the corner of a grimy pub?
We're about to find out.
Fantastic characters, particularly Frank, with some able support in the guise of Adeline and a great South London setting, both in the present and the past of Frank's heydays.
I enjoyed reading and the discovery of Frank's past - his actions, the consequences and his regrets.
Tremendous writing, I was hooked from the opening paragraph........
You know Frank, he’s the bloke who used to line up dry roasted nuts on a bar towel and flick them at Adeline every time he needed a refill. And Adeline, she’d take the hit, usually on the bare roll of flesh between her too-short, too-tight sweater and too-low, too-tight jeans, then top up his pint glass without a word. It was like that for as long as anyone could remember, and that’s longer than most of the regulars who think of the John Evelyn as home.
Ticks in every box. If I had a complaint it would be that at a shade of over 200 pages this was too short.
My kind of book.
5 from 5
I've previously enjoyed Nick Triplow's The Debt.
He has a couple of non-fiction books to his name and a soon to be published biography of Ted Lewis - Getting Carter.
Read in October 2016
Published - 2012
Page count - 216
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle
But then Carl, the landlord of the pub, goes missing and Frank is cajoled by the pub's barmaid, Adeline, into tracking him down and, eventually, he is forced to become a man of action again.
Frank and Adeline's search for Carl takes them off to the frozen wastelands of the north, in that wan hinterland between Christmas and New Years Eve where Britain actually is pretty much broken. During this journey we find out more about Frank, Adeline, Carl, Carl's parents and Frank's wild years.
Frank's Wild Years is Nick Triplow's début novel but he masterfully changes POV - though always returning to Frank- and moves back and forth in time working on a broad and richly layered canvas, with the skill worthy of a much more experienced writer.
Frank's Wild Years is simply stunning. A brilliant character study, a gripping gangster story and an incredibly moving examination of friendship, family, loyalty and loss. Highly recommended.
Frank's Wild Years has a rich tapestry of strongly drawn and evocative characters. The opening scene sees us viewing an old fashioned south London pub and pitying an old drunk, Frank, who chooses to communicate his need for a drink by flicking peanuts at the barmaid.
Triplow soon drags us kicking and screaming into the past and the uncommunicative drunk is soon outed as an intelligent and resourceful character, a former fixer for a local gangster. The dialogue is realistic and interesting. The authors social commentary and insights are at all times smart and often fraught with an emotional depth rarely seen in novels of this genre. Refreshingly the author doesn't always fill in all of the blanks, he allows the reader to draw their own conclusion on a number of occasions. This is a brave and confident step for any writer but the signs are clear and Triplow is a competent guide through Frank's Wild Years.
This is a deftly recounted tale of loyalty, betrayed trust, nostalgia, wasted years, expectations, strong family bonds and Friendship. You'll find yourself as interested in the memories of Frank's past as with the next development in the present. It's quite a slow going novel as the focus on two timelines takes a lot of developing. The impatient reader looking for a quick action fix will find this perhaps not to their taste. However, there's enough going on to keep all but the most fickle of readers engaged with the story.
As intelligent a gangster related novel as you will ever read. I suspect the author worked very hard to make this one come out just the way he wanted it to. The conclusion is a bittersweet fusion of the happy and sad. A perfectly constructed end that will leave the reader with a smile and perhaps a couple of questions. Caffeine Nights once again proving that they know how to pick an author who can tell a hell of a story. Highly recommended.