It’s January 1st, and Brian Bilston is convinced that this year his New Year’s resolution will change his life. Every day for a year, he will write a poem. It’s quite simple. His life certainly needs some improvement: his ex-wife has taken up with a new man (a motivational speaker and marketing guru); Brian seems constantly to disappoint his son, Dylan; and at work, he is drowning in a sea of spreadsheets and management jargon.
Poetry, then, will be his salvation. But there is an obstacle in the form of Toby Salt, his arch nemesis in the Poetry Group and a potential rival suitor to Liz, Brian’s new poetic inspiration. To make matters worse, Toby announces that boutique artisan publishing house Shooting from the Hip is to bring out his first collection, The Bridge No Hands Shall Cleave. When Toby goes missing just after the collection is published, Brian becomes the number-one suspect. If he is regain his reputation and to have a chance of winning Liz, he must find out what has happened to Toby before it is too late.
Part tender love story, part murder mystery, part exploration of a wasted life, and interspersed with ingenious, funny and touching poems about the mundane and the profound, Diary of a Somebody is a wholly wonderful novel.
‘The English comic novel is alive, well and in the safe hands of Brian Bilston. Here is a wonderful, laugh-out-loud comedy of suburban despair in the great tradition of David Nobbs and Sue Townsend. And it comes, of course, with the added bonus of Bilston’s poetry, sparkling here with its habitual wit, intelligence and humanity.’ JONATHAN COE
Brian will be talking about his novel and poetry at an evening in The Croft Hall, Hungerford organised by Arts for Hungerford and the bookshop. Tables will be set-up cafe style, and a bar will be available. Brioan will answer questions from the ausience and sign copies of his book.
Tickets are £10. Or you can buy a ticket that includes ‘Diary of a Somebody’ for £22 (saving £3 on the book). Tickets available from Hungerford Bookshop or on-line here