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The Last Mad Surge of Youth

by Mark Hodkinson

What do 20 years of fame and frustration do to a friendship? Childhood friends Barrett and Carey devoted their youth to a new wave band. Twenty years on Barrett is a fading rock star with a drink problem; Carey an innocuous local newspaper reporter. Rapidly alternating between invincible youthful confidence and middle age disappointment, I found this a giddying read full of raw drive and pathos.

Extract

We saw punk as a cultural and social revolution. We were defiant and pious and dissected our lives and the lives of people around us. We were looking for hypocrisy and duplicity. At one point we planned to call our debut album The Fakefinder General because that's what we were: ever vigilant for phonies, agents of the state and patrons of the bland.
I have not seen Barrett for nearly twenty years but I know instinctively that he will not have changed greatly. I imagine life hasn't been easy. Fame and privilege will have rested awkwardly on his shoulders.

Parallels

Espedair Street by Iain Banks
The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe
 

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