Criticism is going to be difficult, as this is a fantastic piece of writing and it puts many published works to shame. This book grabbed my attention from the very first page. I really didn’t want to put it down.
It’s set in the late 50s, early 60s, against a world emerging from the austerity of the post war years and the onset of recreational drugs. A brand new world for one and all: opportunities abounding. The protagonist, Frank, climbs the corporate ladder by use of his wits and natural talent. But, Frank is a flawed character with an eye for the ladies and a liking for the drink. He gets caught out. He loses everything he’s worked for at a stroke. Then he thinks he sees a way of climbing back, but it turns to the brown, sticky, smelly stuff.
I’m not going to give any more of the plot away, but if you want to read the enthralling and entertaining full story there are a few copies left on inkitt.com. I believe that there is a second story planned, so we might not have heard the last of Frank.
I found the main character very reminiscent of Joe Lambton who was at the centre of John Braine’s Man at the Top book and TV series. In fact, the characterisation was so well done that in my mind I cast a young Phil Daniels (Eastenders) as Frank: an even younger Dame Helen Mirren as his wife Helen: a youngish Paula Wilcox as Vee the sister-in-law and the late David Ryall as the father-in-law.
In the main, I found the story credible and the characters well rounded and believable.
Over to the criticism: the book would benefit from a good editor. I noticed several misused words, (raw for roar, taught for taut) and several sentences with words missing. I also noticed a few continuity errors. Was it Frank, or was it Vee that asked the ice cream vendor to keep an eye on their possessions? And that really is the limit of what I actually observed as I read the story.
My only other question on the story would be to ask just how easy it would be for a woman to obtain a divorce in the 60s. This is central to the story, and the part that caused me to think most. I can’t remember just how easy it was, but I have an idea that if the husband didn’t want a divorce the wife could be on an uphill battle. If I’m right, the story might need rewriting a little to fit reality.
This work really is far too good not to be offered to a wider audience. As regards publishing, if it were me, I’d electronically publish first on Amazon and see how things go. I’d also build up a small group of readers that could advise me of any obvious errors in the story and also hopefully pick up the odd grammatical issue.
This was a well polished ‘early’ work and one that I’m more than happy to run to 41/2 anchors on.