Monday 20 February 2012

Book: Abide With Me by Ian Ayris

Ian Ayris’ debut novel is a poignant tale of growing up in seventies London.

Ten year old John Sissons leads a care-free life, his time is spent mucking about with friends both in and out of school and on Saturdays he watches his beloved West Ham United football team with his Dad.

The arrival of the aloof Kenny has a huge effect on John’s life and as the lads grow up events take them their separate ways. Years later they meet up again and must stand together to face a fearsome local gangster.

The story is told entirely from John’s perspective and the use of local dialect (something I don’t normally enjoy) works well, taking the reader into the world of a boy who faces many troubles and while he doesn’t always make the right choices, he remains a likable character throughout.

The highlight of the book is the schooldays. Overweight Kenny is easy prey for bullies and aggressive teachers making every day a struggle while at home he has an abusive Father to deal with.

This was a refreshing change from the usual type of crime fiction that I enjoy, it’s a thoughtful coming-of-age tale that often tugs at the heartstrings but also contains a constant element of danger. Fans of films like The Shawshank Redemption will love it.

For more information on the book and it’s author please visit

Ric’s Rating: Highly Recommended


  1. Best case made for this novel I've seen. Very cool review, Ric.

  2. Thanks Ben. Let me know if you check it out.


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