Being a new #BookBlogger, I decided that I would try different genres instead of always reading crime and thriller novels, which led me to taking part in this Blog Tour -something I do not regret!
The northern grammar school pals Bob Swarbrick and Richard Shackleton are back, now facing the era of Brexit, Momentum, Coronavirus and Donald Trump. For the first time in their lives, Bob and Richard struggle to see the meaning of it all.
The trials and renewals of Where’s Sailor Jack? (John Uttley’s debut novel released in 2015) behind them, they find themselves in a world whose faith and politics have moved beyond their sphere of influence and feel increasingly cut off from their roots.
Bob, now settled with Wendy, must reconcile old memories and new children while Richard must save his family from themselves. Along the way, they are adopted by the lascivious Lucy Fishwick and her predatory daughter Maddie, whose lives are as mad and chaotic as the radio play Lucy is trying to write and, indeed, the world itself.
But despite the coming plague, it doesn’t look like Armageddon. There is to be an apocalypse, but one of personal dimensions. We don’t all go together when we go!
I have to be honest and say that I really wasn’t sure what to expect from ‘No Precedent’ having never read any of Uttley’s previous work and knowing that there would be a lot of reference to religion and politics. However, I very much enjoyed this book and I am so glad that I decided to open my mind to new genres.
The characters are all very different having evidently been exposed to a variety of upbringings and there are many unlikely friendships within this book. For me, this is what makes their relationships interesting and engaging. Maddie was my favourite character, although I did not agree with her life choices and often found her decisions hard to accept. I was remarkably surprised at her relationship with Bob who, considering he is from a different era, appeared to be non-judgemental and tried to understand her which I found quite refreshing.
Politics does feature very heavily in this book, perhaps much more than I anticipated. At times I have to admit that I found it quite overwhelming and did skip over some sections near the end. That being said, it was interesting to read Uttley’s views on some of the political matters of today.
Uttley has a very unique style of writing and one which may take you a few chapters to get into, but my advice would be to stick with it and have your tissues ready at the end!
About the Author
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 miners’ strike, the Sizewell Inquiry and privatisation, receiving on 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. Following this, he took an external London degree in Divinity while acting as chairman of numerous smaller companies, both UK and US based. He is married to Janet, living just north of London. This is his second novel, based on the characters of his first, the much-loved and critically acclaimed Where’s Sailor Jack?
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‘No Precedent‘ is like no other book I have read recently, it will make you think, it will make you laugh and it will make you cry – what more could you ask for from a book?