Troubador The Boy Made the Difference

Released: 28/08/2020

ISBN: 9781838594879

eISBN: 9781838596460

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Boy Made the Difference


Rex, a husband and father, makes an unintentional error. Will Rex get away with his terrible, taboo-busting mistake? 

This opening premise is the starting gun to a rollicking ride through London of the late 1980s and early 1990s, in a literary novel that focuses on human frailty, love, marriage, family bonds, gay sex, betrayal, alcoholism, illness and death. Although aspects of the novel are richly ironic and even comedic, it also deals with challenging themes, not least HIV/AIDS.

Matt Bishop wrote The Boy Made the Difference because very few (if any) literary novels are set against the narrative backdrop of the HIV/AIDS crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s, which had a profound and lasting impact on the gay community. All of the proceeds from the book sales will be donated to his late mother’s charity – the Bernardine Bishop Appeal (part of CLIC Sargent – a charity that helps children, young people and their families who are suffering the effects of cancer).

BBC – The LGBT Sport Podcast

Gay Times

The author has a good eye for the convincing detail, sometimes funny, sometimes embarrassing or harrowing, but always lifelike... Rex's character arc is superbly well drawn. Stylish, clever and gripping. Recommended.

by Ben – Goodreads

The Boy Made the Difference was an incredibly interesting read from the beginning. Chronicling a dark period in LGBTQ+ history, the AIDS epidemic, made this story stand out from others in my mind. At least initially. But it was really the character work that Matt Bishop put in that kept me there.

The story begins with our protagonist (and this word can be used lightly at points), Rex, making the kind of mistake that had my jaw literally on the floor as I began reading furiously to find out just how it was resolved and if it ever was. It hooked me, instantly. As for the resolution, I strongly advise that you read the book to find out.

It is Rex's entire family that makes this book what it is. His wife and her struggles felt incredibly real. The marriage they shared felt genuinely strained - for some obvious reasons. The love that Rex and his wife felt for their son also felt real.

The London setting, the London of the late 80s and early 90s, was a perfect backdrop for this tale. and I genuinely recommend that you take some time to read this book. I recognize that it is not for everyone, but simply the period that it covers alone should get people to give it a chance.

Even if you aren't an LGBTQ+ history nerd like me...

by NetGalley review

Matt Bishop

Matt Bishop was born in London in 1962. He has worked in motor racing for many years, principally in Formula 1, alongside Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as well as many other top drivers. He is now the communications director of W Series, the international motor racing championship for female drivers.

Bishop is also an award-winning journalist and editor, and ghost-wrote the well-reviewed autobiography of double Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, 'Emmo: a Racer's Soul' (2014).

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Bishop was a home support volunteer (aka 'buddy') for London Lighthouse, at that time the world's largest HIV/AIDS centre.

'The Boy Made the Difference' is his first novel.

Matt Bishop photographed by his husband Angel Bautista

Matt Bishop and Lewis Hamilton
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