[The Former Boy Wonder emerged from two unpublished novels I wrote in the Noughties. One of them was called The Father and Soon Show, a strand of which was the story of the career of Ray Duffy (who at that stage was known as Eddie Francey). A decade ago, Salt published a truncated version of the Eddie strand as a novella, A Man Walks Into A Kitchen. Next to none of A Man Walks Into A Kitchen appears in TFBW, but by the time I began the latter in 2012, Ray was already a fully-formed character, which was a great help to me.]
In mid-60s Belfast, Eddie Francey is a young comedian trying to get a break. He wonders if he has what it takes, but he has responsibilities: a wife and a young son. The last thing he needs at the moment is to fall for the last woman on earth he ought to fall for. Emotive and page-turning, this is both a love story and a comedy.
“At one level, A Man Walks into a Kitchen is a comic treat but as it builds to a dramatic ending, loss, desire and common human frailty take charge of the reader’s attention. This is a fine, witty and well-crafted novella.”
*Though the novella has a strong sense of a distinct era, it is of universal appeal today. Graham’s style is witty and engaging but with a sense of pathos. At the end, I was left thinking we all make mistakes but some of us pay for them dearly.”
Published by Salt, 2011.