Nearly Swinging: Genuinely Funny Books are in Short Supply - Here's One that Makes Up for the Famine

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The truth is, the Swinging Sixties weren't all about the Kings Road. The Royals might have been racing round in minis, and pop-stars doing psychedelic paint jobs on their Rolls Royces, but the frothy coffee of small town England wasn't quite the cappuccino of the capital. Love might have been free in London but it was definitely in short supply elsewhere. And while Jagger and the Stones were strutting their stuff at the Marquee Club, most had to make do with Tommy Storm and the Thunders knocking 'em dead at the Locarno.

Set in more naive times, as the first post-war teenagers are finding their feet, Robin Edwards' novel captures seven days in the life of an unnamed teenager through an hilarious, confessional narrative concerned mostly with the reality of sex.

For those who remember the sixties, and for those who don't, the beautifully observed, punchline-powered narrative relentlessly delivers page-turning laughs as its doom-struck hero swirls in the maelstrom of a life in a free-fall. Whatever your age, you were here.

Even in its more bizarre moments, the book never fails to ring so embarrassingly true that the reader may well wince with personal recognition.

Nearly Swinging is a real page-turner. Fab, was the sixties word for it. Fab it is.

Remember the 1960s?

Do You Remember Swinging London, free love, pop stars and Royals driving minis?

Or was it something else, somewhere different?

Teenage life eighty miles west of the Kings Road is a distant cry from the Swinging 60s of newsreels and magazines. El Morocco isn't the 2i's, the Locarno isn't the Marquee Club, Tommy Storm and the Thunders can't hold a light to Gerry and the Pacemakers, and the fashion isn't quite Carnaby Street.

But it sometimes gets close. Dangerously close, when the demands of juggling three hot women and a limited supply of johnnies, flings the world into a disastrously destructive downward spiral.

In a single week, life implodes in spectacular fashion.

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Robin Edwards
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