Reviewed by Dan
AUTHOR: Liam Livings
PUBLISHER: Manifold Press
LENGTH: 148 Pages
Darryl’s on the run – from controlling boyfriend Chris, an air-conditioner called Dave (deceased), an intolerable, claustrophobic situation and a person he just can’t be any more. The trouble is, he doesn’t have a plan – or any money – and all he knows is he needs to get away from everything. That’s where a lucky lift to Glasgow comes in, which turns out to be just the beginning of a whole new life …
When we first meet Darryl in London, he is in the middle of a complete mental snap! The AC unit (which he named Dave) is going bonkers, his boyfriend’s excessive OCD has driven him over the edge, and he can’t take it anymore!
Darryl was raised in foster care, and at sixteen he met Chris, who was twenty years older than him, and kind of a jerk. OK, a total controlling, manipulative jerk. The final straw was “Dave” the AC unit going on the fritz, and the windows all being locked shut (with a key) so that Darryl couldn’t open them per Chris’ orders….not that he had a key to do it anyway! All of a sudden….SNAP!
Several black bin bags later, his boyfriend’s stuff is all bagged and thrown down the stairs. “Dave” the AC unit is now deceased and in a bunch of pieces all over the floor after Darryl got through beating the poor thing to death with a hammer!
So what next? Now Darryl takes off in the boyfriend’s car, but after a slight mishap on a bridge….OK, maybe a major mishap since the boyfriend’s car is smashed into a bridge abutment…Darryl is on the run before the ambulance and policemen even arrive.
He has to get away from this obsessively angry boyfriend at any costs. So he jumps a lorry ride north to Glasgow. He figures 400 miles is enough to put between the two of them. Along the way he reinvents himself. When the lorry driver asks his name, he looks at the lorry’s logo, and becomes Ford. When questioned as to where the name came from he quips that his parents named him after a character in one of my favorite series of all times, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy”. Later he switches the story to being named after a Ford Cortina, but I liked the first version best!
Ford is off to his new adventures and life in Scotland. It was an entertaining story, full of drag shows, a whole new “family” for Ford, a new job…doing what he always wanted to do, and even a couple guys vying for his love interest.
While this book isn’t listed anywhere as for Young Adults, it would be a fine read for that market, as the sex in the book is very understated and mostly on a “referred to” basis. Personally, I thought the book was good, but it seemed to lack detail and a certain amount of cohesiveness for me to give it a higher rating. After reading the blurb, I thought it would be a great beach read this weekend while I was away, but it had difficulty holding my attention. I think as I stated above that it is probably perfect as a YA.