Book cover for The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness

The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness



03 May 2018
320 pages
Imprint: Picador


Passionate and courageous, insightful and humane, funny and moving, this is a wonderful book.
What Caveney achieves in this powerful, distinctive memoir is the positioning of his repeated sexual abuse into the landscape of an early Eighties adolescence . . . By turns honest, angry, funny, thoughtful, acerbic and desperately sad . . . Caveney impressively resists reaching easy conclusions . . . The book is percussive with black gags, as Caveney attacks the contradictions of his teenage years.
Caveney . . . writes with such robust, defiant attack that he never leaves the reader feeling like a prurient spy. His anger is blistering, any comedy not so much black as bile green . . . Caveney tells the story of his life brilliantly, but still you wish there was another one he could have written.
[The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness] is often bleakly funny and, alongside its troubling main theme, tells a more tender story of adolescent male friendship, unspoken parental love and music’s redemptive power . . . [Caveney’s] voice on the page is humane, big-hearted and without self-pity . . . it demands to be read.