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The Tin Man

by Martin Shannon

Plenty of smiles of recognition here for anyone who grew up in the seventies. You can sympathise easily with Joe as he struggles to come to terms with his failed marriage and being an occasional father to his small daughter. There are some genuinely touching moments. The flashbacks to Joe's childhood, however, are often hilarious. An assured first novel. I do hope he writes more soon.

Extract

I sit on the floor with my back against the wall and study the tin closely. It's a nice size. As tactile as a pack of cards...heavier though, with all that's inside and the weight of my expectations. I recognise my own childish script on the label I'd stuck on the lid. I must have written 'SURVIVAL KIT' with some dedication, as each letter is embellished with neat serifs. Pre-pubescent self-assurance and optimism writ large but now blurred, like the ink, with age.

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