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 Bobâ€™s and Richardâ€™s mortality continues to tick. It could be the story of many of us of that so luckily blessed generation."
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
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 Finance Director at the time of the minersâ€™ strike, the Sizewell Inquiry and privatisation, receiving an OBE in 1991. Shortly afterwards, he suffered his fifteen minutes of fame when he publicly gave a dividend to charity in the middle of the fat cat furore. More recently, he has taken an external London degree in Divinity while acting as chairman of numerous smaller companies, both UK and US based. This is his first novel. He is married to Janet, living just north of London with three grown children and dog.