At the start of Frank’s Wild Years, Frank Neaves’ wild years are actually buried deeply in the dim and distant past, and he’s more than content to spend his days propping up the bar of his South London local and viewing life through an alcoholic haze.
But then Carl, the landlord of the pub, goes missing and Frank is cajoled by the pub’s barmaid, Adeline, into tracking him down and, eventually, he is forced to become a man of action again.
Frank and Adeline’s search for Carl takes them off to the frozen wastelands of the north, in that wan hinterland between Christmas and New Years Eve where Britain actually is pretty much broken. During this journey we find out more about Frank, Adeline, Carl, Carl’s parents and Frank’s wild years.
Frank’s Wild Years is Nick Triplow‘s début novel but he masterfully changes POV – though always returning to Frank- and moves back and forth in time working on a broad and richly layered canvas, with the skill worthy of a much more experienced writer.
Frank’s Wild Years is simply stunning. A brilliant character study, a gripping gangster story and an incredibly moving examination of friendship, family, loyalty and loss. Highly recommended.