Released on 05 June 2009.

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Talk of the Town

3.66 based on 32 ratings & 8 reviews on

2010 Winner

Somerset Maugham Award

2010 Short-listed

Desmond Elliott Prize


1986, the last day of the summer holidays, and Christopher Hearsey is wondering why his best mate Arthur has suddenly disappeared, and whether lippy Gill Ross a few doors down might know anything about it. The great border city of Carlisle is buzzing with rumours following an act of terrible violence, and in order to begin his search Chris must face down his own dread, not only of the consequences of his own actions, but of local big man Booby Grove, and his psychotic sidekick Carl ‘the black’ Hole, who is keen to settle an old score.

Populated by a menacing and hilarious cast of characters, and moving from the dark aggrieved streets of the city to the agricultural hinterland of the Solway Firth, this is the story of a boy desperate to get out of town, out of a bad situation, even out of his own skin. Written with a moving demotic brilliance, reminiscent of Huckleberry Finn, Talk of the Town is an exhilarating and terrifying odyssey.