Pilcrow by Adam Mars-Jones

The author captures perfectly a 1950s childhood (like my own) in a lower middle class family. The ignorance and curiosity of a child is well portrayed, also his emerging spirituality.

The book tackles an almost taboo subject: the emerging sexuality of a severely disabled boy.

His experience in hospital mirrors mine: your mum brings you nice sweets but the nurses insist on sharing them with the whole ward. Socialism! Another experience we have in common: you don;’t understand what they mean when you are asked if you have ‘opened your bowels today’ so you get a nasty pill stuck up your rear and explode later.

My only criticism is that the book is too long (and the sequel is even longer) and the central character is a bit boring, given that he has to endure long hours of introspection.

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