Troubador The End of the Pier

Released: 28/06/2016

eISBN: 9781785895449

Format: eBook

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The End of the Pier


“It was as if the theatre itself had turned a blind eye to the act of violence and vengeance.” Set in the summer of 1985 in the fictional seaside town of Grumby, this coming-of-age tale portrays Martin Collier and his non-relationship with his sub-alcoholic mother, Lorraine. A stagehand and wannabe drummer, Martin crews on Seaside Spectacular, where he falls for an unobtainable dancer, and where he suspects that Gerry Neon, the star of the show, coincidentally may be his father. As the narrative plays out, Martin stands up to Gerry in a scuffle, claiming to be his son... The novel is set in a British seaside resort and explores the Variety shows that play there, but James’ novel is not a nostalgia piece. Throughout the story, Martin discovers that the past is a dark and confused place and, as secrets surface, he is left compelled to face his own history. There is sea air and sandcastles, but so too is there abuse, dashed dreams and fatherlessness. Martin is haunted by this lack of a father and his quest to fill this emotional void is painful, but something he must do. The End of the Pier should prove enjoyable to anyone who has affection for British seaside resorts generally, and for summer season variety shows in particular. James compares his work to that by Nick Hornby and Lost Empires by J. B. Priestly. “The novel oozes with the fish’n’chip grease of the seaside and it chuckles lovingly at Variety acts, but it is not a nostalgia piece,” comments James.

The End of the Pier is a striking, compelling debut and a sharply observed evocation of a dying world. The writing is superb, the characters unforgettable and the ending incredibly moving. One of the best debuts I've read. Highly recommended. Stav Sherez, Author of “A Dark Redemption”
A Tour de Force of observational writing. Convincing characters within compelling prose, laying bare the often seedy side of the variety/entertainment scene. It really got under my skin and I thought the ending was inspired. I found myself rooting for Martin (and Mandy). Loved it! Sara Elliott, Just Books
The End of the Pier lifts the curtain on the dark reality of summer season shows. The characters are recognisable but stripped of cheap sentiment. A great read. Tony Peers, veteran comedian, actor and producer
It took me back to our Variety days in the eighties and all that was politically incorrect, captured in an intriguing story. People I knew are so recognisable in the characters, from the stagehand, Martin, who could have been me in the sixties, to Gerry Neon, who could have been many a bill topper from shows of the past. A great read from start to finish. Ian Tough, The Krankies
Fantastic! Gripping. Nostalgic. Brought back memories. I was there! Kevin McFarlane, Technical Stage Manager, Lyceum Theatre, Crewe
This is a truly compulsive read that takes you into the minds of the characters. James’ observations about the 'back of house' activities demonstrates a unique knowledge and understanding of the world of Light Entertainment in the seventies and eighties. For those of us who were there it is frighteningly accurate! Alan Cutler, Peel Entertainment

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James C.  Lee

James is a Biology Teacher and lives in Otley, West Yorkshire with his wife and two children. This is his first novel.

The author outside Korks ahead of the launch on June 30th

The author thumbing his opus in a suitable setting!
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