ALONE, DESPERATE AND GOING NOWHERE
Alex ‘Abs’ Brenchley is back. The seven-foot tragedy opens the sequel to Silk Handkerchiefs with the words “2008 was the worst year of my life.” This is the story of that year.
Neon and doors – I’m dead, hell, we’re being pumped in by the dozen – I don’t belong here! – yes you do, sex fiend – to a tight passage – bundles of us trying to get out – bottle-necked against a tunnel of lights – the triple-X, neon and doors, passages to perdition – I shuffle with the masses – nearly there – I notice…a woman – or she notices me – our eyes meet, skinny, late thirties, she is squatting in a doorway, eating a burger, she speaks: “Do you have trouble with the ladies, sir?”
Alone, Desperate and Going Nowhere sweeps our hyper-emotional hero across England, into the depths of despair and deranged behaviour, towards a mythical destination – The Lady Field – a fabled area of Hampstead Heath where it isn’t just men who are cruising. Carnforth yobs, Sex and the City: The Movie, dogging fanatics, Christian Slater, Community Support Officers and the Page Street Gang – these are just some of the forces Alex is up against as he seeks to find the manhood, absolution and purpose in life that will empower him to win the love of Trevoreesia, his Absqueen.
All the while, the economy is collapsing – “My life had been in crisis for so long and now the world was catching up,” observes Alex – and the soundtrack to this far-gone era is Take That’s cruel taunt: THIS COULD BE THE GREATEST DAY OF OUR LIVES. Does that day come for Alex Brenchley or will he remain, always and forever, Alone, Desperate and Going Nowhere?
Mixing Cockney, teen lingo, Victorian slang and inventive wordplay, Haworth’s colourful style makes for an exhilarating and addictive read. This is the second part in a trilogy of comedic novels about Alex Brenchley.