Author: Sean- Paul Thomas
Genre: novelette, dark humor
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I have read Sean- Paul Thomas’ few books, and like Fairy Boy on Carlton Hill, the story sets in Edinburgh’s Carlton Hill. This time is about Bill Stones, the guy who had made it big just by telling jokes. The 62- year- old returns to the United Kingdom’s Edinburgh Fringe to receive a special award for 40 years in the entertainment business. For Bill, it was going home to where it all started. He has had a lot of ups and downs, but good ol’ Bill has managed to hold it together with a late- night talk show in America.
As a novelette, there is not much story to tell. The story moves backwards instead of forwards, and we see more of Bill’s memory than the current situation where he’s supposed to go up a stage to get an award. The heart of the story is not humour, but life and regrets. His daughter Jenny is his personal assistant as well as minder, as Bill cannot be trusted to be a lone at all! Bill finds humour in everything, I guess that is why he’s a comedian.
The trip to Edinburgh brings a lot of memory, memories that Bill prefers to keep hidden. Ever since arriving at the place, Bill sees his past melding with his present. He keeps secrets that even Jenny does not know, yet as a reader we have access to his thoughts.
Bill has his demons, up on the beautiful Carlton Hill, Bill sees his past catching up to him. For once, he faces it like a man and receives peace for it. Somehow it reminds me of Robin Williams, the guy who tells great jokes, but had so much darkness he could not beat it. I guess people who makes us laugh knows how it feels to be sad, and they are also very good at hiding it. As Bill faces his demons, the story comes to an end with a good, albeit expected twist.
I am more of a fan of his other works like My Sister and I, mainly for the story and just more to read. This is definitely a short read, and it does have all the good bits: drama, secrets and funny rude jokes.
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