Witty, light, educational and fun - another great little book from Gervase Phinn...
James Johnson, also known as JJ, Jamie, or James, lives in small, terraced house in Yorkshire with his mum and dad. He was born after the Second World War, just at that peculiar moment in time when Britain recalls the harshness of wartime living and so squeezes every last drop of joy out of life.
In a rather matter-of-fact manner, we are told about his life as it is. Not rose-tinted, not glossed over, not smooth-edged or sugar-coated. Just how it is for James – and in stark contrast, how it was for his friend, Ignatius Plunkett. How amazing is it to have hot, running water or to be able to go to the loo inside your warm house? How weird would it be to be presented with black pudding (made from congealed pig’s blood) or pig trotters (their hoofy feet) or chitterling (pig intestines) for your tea? A Load of Old Tripe introduces us to a bygone British era in a very accessible way; one that allows the imagination to be fired and fuelled and is wonderfully nostalgic and gruffly northern.
Phinn is an extraordinary talent; capable of moulding together a hodgepodge of events into a captivating and strangely moving story. A Load of Tripe is hardly conventional; being more of a conversational recounting of several months in the life of an ordinary eleven-year-old boy living in the North of Britain, where nothing more unusual than a dog nicking off with his dad’s tripe or having to help haul a friend out of sucking sand at Whitby happens. But with Phinn, even the most mundane of incidents takes on a wondrous quality that makes your eyes crinkle as a sloppy smile spreads over your face.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012