Published: 28/04/2016
ISBN: 9781785891724
eISBN: 9781785896156
Format: Paperback/eBook



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About the Author



John Uttley was born in Lancashire just as the war was ending. Grammar school educated there, he read Physics at Oxford before embarking on a long career with the CEGB and National Grid Group. He was ... read more

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Where's Sailor Jack?
by John Uttley

Family history only makes sense looking backwards. Yet hindsight creates illusions that defy contradiction. With a few peeks in the rear-view mirror, this story must go onward and forward...

Bob and Richard were two lower-class provincials who went out and made a name for themselves. Grammar school boys from Lancashire, they’d shared in the great flowering of working-class culture from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, before rising with the meritocracy in business and industry. By their own admission, they’d taken far more out than they would ever put in.

Now in their sixties, they spend time soul-searching, but in different ways; Richard looks for meaning and Bob purpose. Richard sees events as fickle fate, presently working in his favour; Bob as a catalogue of decisions he’d enjoyed making, with some bad ones currently coming home to roost.

As they look for someone or something to believe in before the last trumpet sounds, both men are to be tested over the next year in life, love and death. Just one thing is for sure: they will both be changed.

Where’s Sailor Jack? is a family saga that takes in three generations of two families with all the struggles, tribulations and fireworks that you would expect – as well as plenty you wouldn’t.

Nothing changed the social complexion of Britain quite as effectively as the 1944 Education Act. At a stroke of government, bright working class children were given a chance for further education that their parents could only have dreamed about. Bob and Richard were two of those children. Grammar school boys from Lancashire, and friends throughout everything since, their education and abilities have led them up the success ladder in business and industry. Now in their sixties, they should, you might think, be enjoying the fruits of their life’s work. Well off, by most people’s standards, in some ways they are. But life isn’t ever plain sailing. As always, sex, love, pride, ambition and, not least, the past, ally to complicate things. And in this thoroughly enjoyable first novel by John Uttley, himself a Lancashire grammar school boy of that period, we dive into the complexities of two families, each with its own problems as the clock on Bob’s and Richard’s mortality continues to tick. It could be the story of many of us of that so luckily blessed generation.
– Ray Connolly, journalist, playwright, novelist and commentator.

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Ray Connolly, the esteemed journalist, playwright and author, has reviewed Where's Sailor Jack? He says: "Nothing changed the social complexion of Britain quite as effectively as the 1944 Education Act....And in this thoroughly enjoyable first novel by John Uttley, himself a Lancashire grammar school boy of that period, we dive into the complexities of two families, each with its own problems as the clock on Bob’s and Richard’s mortality continues to tick. It could be the story of many of us of that so luckily blessed generation."

http://www.wheressailorjack.com

Lancashire Life

The Wireless

Green Door

I'm not a baby boomer or a cricket fan, but there's something about this reflective tale, written in a way that every word counts and has an impact that made me think. It made me laugh too. This is described as "A novel about first love, lasting love, the purpose of life and the meaning of cricket." The dialogue between the two protagonists, the strength and vitality of the female characters, and the sense of humour of the author filtering through the copy, made this an enjoyable read on one level, a thought-provoking read on another. Highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys real and authentic fiction.

by Yummy Mummy of Headcorn


I bought this book at my local store in Barnet. I read the book in 4 days and I am not really much of a reader. The book is so well written and has a good pace. The story line is gripping and makes one keep picking up the book. For a first novel I think John Uttley has done a great job. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

by Mrs Gee


A captivating story that draws you in to the lives of Bob and Richard, where a working class, Church of England upbringing deeply influences their passage through the world of corporate business. Seriously reflective yet humorous throughout, the ending reveals a satisfying conclusion.

by Vicki B


Where's Sailor Jack is by turn, romantic, humerous, religious and business driven, with a large helping of normal family trials and tribulations. I enjoyed meeting the characters and getting involved in their storylines and the descriptive portraits of the The Fylde and Lancashire was a treat to read as it is my homeground too. The central characters are very believable and I felt both sorry for and cross with Bob for his errors of judgement in life and could identify with Jane, a strong woman with a rather selfish personality when it comes to relationships! Helen's attempts at extra marital romps were very funny as were reasons for failure, I enjoyed all the characters, both human and animal who entered and left the story, and shed tears when the exits were permanent.
John Uttley is an expressive writer and I hope there will be more to read from him.

by Mrs Susan E Heyward


 

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