“Gold” BBC Book 2

Not the Spandau Ballet Album but the delightful little book by Dan Rhodes.  I started this at  7.40am yesterday on my bus journey to work, read half of it and finished on the journey home.

The book opens with Tall Mr Hughes, Short Mr Hughes, and Mr Puw in the local pub along with the Landlord (outbursts of Holy Mackerel!) waiting for quiz night to start.  With them is Septic Barry and the Children of Previous Relationships which is a band, although they haven’t actually performed a gig yet!

In walks Miyuki Woodward of Japanese/Welsh descent to the statement “Welcome back”.  She orders a pint, sips the top 1″ off the top before picking it up with two hands and sits under the stuffed pike.

The book covers the two weeks Miyuki is on vacation in this Welsh Village. In that time we learn that this is an enforced separation from her lover Grindl to make their love for each other stronger. But it’s the quirkiness of the novel, of the characters that makes this book unputdownable.  The attention to detail and the beautiful prose that at times dances of the pages as Miyuki’s contact lenses dance on the hot stove where she drops them after taking them out every night ready for fresh in the morning.

“Gold” is very much character driven and the interaction between them, their stories and relationships.  The most excitement in the village is when Miyuki paints a rock on the beach gold, as you do.  There are genuine laugh out loud moments too like the time Septic Barry’s girlfriend of the moment (also the barmaid) was so stunning that regulars to the pub were so stunned that they forgot what their usuals were and ended up on cocktails.

The ending is quite abrupt leaving you with a sense of  “I wonder ………”

It’s an easy read, and one which I urge everyone to seek out and immerse themselves in.  Beautiful, Quirky and Different.



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