Fear N Loathing reviews Nimrod
NIMROD by Ryan Roberts (published by Earth Island)
This is the debut novel from Ryan Roberts and it follows in the American ‘coming-of-age’ tradition, featuring teenagers trying to come to terms with their place in the world. Think of the books of S E Hinton, or even ‘Catcher in the Rye’… But where this story varies is that the main character, Rod, is part of a dysfunctional family due to the death of his older brother, an event that actually happened before he was even born. Due to the turmoil that the loss inflicted on his parents, his mother is now semi-reclusive and obsessive about her sons’ whereabouts and activities, whilst his father has submerged himself in his job. Rod himself has developed his own social quirks to deal with his surroundings, including an unlikely obsession with the singer Sting! But things start to change when he meets a girl, Cat, who is dealing with her own parental-difficulties. They bond over their similar problems and eventually form a relationship that will see them both find a way to take things forward. The story takes many twists and turns, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always with a strong sense of purpose. The couple have to find their own way through the pitfalls of ‘young-love’ and to a great degree they succeed, but never in an entirely orderly fashion. There are some details that I find a little out of kilter, but it’s a long time since I was a teenager, so what do I know? At the end of the day, it’s a genuinely entertaining novel with a believable depth to the characters and valid observations about the nature of friendship, trust and determination. It’s a great book and I totally recommend it.