Pilgrim Snail jDavid Barwise is a 19 year old student who against the better wishes of his Mum and step dad gets a summerob as a greencoat on a holiday camp in Skegness Set against the scorching summer of 1976 and the subseuent ladybird invasion David is led into two love affairs one with the wife of an apparent monster one w A beautiful washer woman with a voice like an angel whose abusive husband won t let her take her rightful place on the stageNo I can t read on with such a clich d charactersituationGraham Joyce is one of my all time favorite authors and I m sad that he s no longer with us But with this I cannot continueThankfully there are a bunch of earlier works by him that I have yet to read University student David Barwise takes a summer An Unsafe Haven job at an aging seaside resort in Lincolnshire He works as an assistant to the professional entertainers and runs activities for the families on vacation He was drawn to the resort town of Skegness because his natural father had spent his last days thereThe summer of 1976 in England was known for its infestation of ladybugs It s also remembered for its political turmoil with the activities of the fascist National Front which tries to recruit the resort workers David makes friends easily with the old time performers and a certain young dancer He gets into a scary situation with a violent man and his seductive wife The most unusual thing about that summer is the supernatural appearances of a ghost in an electric blue suitThe author had worked at several holiday resorts in his youth and transports the reader back to the 1970s The interesting characters and absorbing plot made the book an entertaining coming of age story 35 stars Review copyIust read a truly mesmerizing book The Ghost In the Electric Blue Suit by Graham Joyce is a book that takes you there There is the eastern shore of Britain It s the hottest summer in living memory It s the summer of 1976Much to the disappointment of his mum and step dad David Barwise takes a summer Loving Lies (Summer Lovin, job at a resort in Skegness David is drawn to the locale by a photo of his birth father taken in Skegness when David was a small childIn many ways The Ghost In the Electric Blue Suit reminded me of Dirty Dancing without the dancing Similar drama summer romance at a place families would go for their week long vacationGraham Joyce s writing style is comfortable relaxing lyrical at times As a reader I became immersed in the words to the point that it felt as if David s experiences where my ownThroughout the story David sees a man and a little boy they are there one moment and gone the next The man is always in a blue suit that takes on the same phosphorescence as the sea Who is the man Who is the little boy What does it all meanThe Ghost In the Electric Blue Suit is the kind of story I may read again some day The characters are rich with personality and mostly a pleasure to be around and I wouldn t mind visiting with them from time to timeThe Ghost In the Electric Blue Suit will be available as an ebook hardcover and Audio CD on August 5th 2014 from Random House LLCStrongly recommended Thank you Doubleday and Netgalley for providing this in exchange for an honest reviewDavid is a college student who decides to take a summerob at a holiday center Skegness His mother and stepfather are both against this When David was three his biological father died of a heart attack at this same holiday center David tries to assure them he really is Caught in His Gilded World just going there because theob is available not because of the ties to his past The staff and the guest at Skegness take to David right away Everything seems normal at first but then Davis starts seeing a guy in a blue suite and a little boy At first he thinks nothing
it Working a vacation spot for families you re likely to see certain *people repeatedly one day david happens to come *repeatedly One day David happens to come to face with the little boy Right away he notices something isn t right Normal little boys don t have eyes of clear glassI really liked the setting While I m sure there are or were vacation centers here in the US I ve never heard of them before Its not very often that I m introduced to an entirely new to me environment in realistic fiction I also really liked a few of the secondary customers I didn t really care much for David I honestly found him kind of dull and with him being the main character that made it pretty difficult to like this titleThe title suggest the Ghost will be a major player in this story but he isn t This didn t even really feel like a coming of age story Honestly I m not sure what exactly the author was going for There were a few different romanceish story lines going a sorta missing persons mystery some Nazi politics and the mystery of the ghost I don t feel all these worked well together There was too much going on There ust wasn t enoughof it working
Space In A 300in a 300 book for each story to be fully fleshed out Had a few of these been dropped and others developed further this could have been a great book As it is everything feels underdeveloped Very dissappointing It was 1976 and the hottest summer in living memory The reservoirs were cracked and dry some of the towns were restricted to water from standpipes crops were falling in the fields England was a country innocent of all such extremity I was nineteen and I d ust finished my first year at college The storyteller is David Barwise and the time and place are relevant to the way his summertime adventures will unfold In need of pocket money as every student ever known he applies for a Fantastic Stories of the Imagination February 2015 job at a seaside holiday campThe year is important because it is a watershed moment a turning point in the vacationing preferences Cheap airplane tickets and non stop sunshine in the Mediterranean and the Carribean resorts are putting the bracing translate windy and cold and often rainy British camps out of business It sust had it s day The holiday camp is living on borrowed time too People don t want this any She meant the holidaying habits of the industrialized working classes She meant a way of life that had reached the end of its commercial utility These were the last days of working culture ended not through earthuake or tidal wave or volcanic eruption but through the obstinate ticking of the cash register David catches the tail end of this era The closest an. David a college student takes a summer ob at a run down family resort in a dying English resort town This is against the wishes of his family because it was at this resort that David's biological father disappeared fifteen .
Twists but it s lulling well written and recognizable a bit of the human experience in a slim summer tale it s worth a read stretched out with a glass of something full of clinking ice cubes with freuent glances up between chapters to stare off into the pastcome to my blog This book is like the British version of Stephen King s Joyland Joyce s writing is elegant spare and lyrical than King s and he doesn t succumb to King s urge to add in a grand finale which makes me personally udge that this is a slightly better crafted book but the two are very very similar If you liked one you will love the otherA young man a college student in the 1970 s takes a ob at a past its prime summer resort and discovers that he s great with kids He learns the ropes negotiates relationships with some sketchy co workers develops an attraction for an older woman but through it all is haunted by the ghosts of the pastAll of the above applies to both booksHere though the ghost is personal The narrator David knows that his biological dad died in this resort town when he was three His mom and stepdad refuse to talk about the circumstances and he has a sort of vague hope of coming to some kind of closure by taking this ob even against his family s wishesIn addition to his own issues this summer David must figure out who he is and where his place is in life A love triangle develops he develops a thing for the married Terri whom he suspects is abused Simultaneously the young and lovely Nikki sets her sights on him Meanwhile Terri s husband persistently tries to recruit him to the National Front Not getting his ass kicked by Nazi skinheads is also a goal The innocent holiday fun has a dark current and some of these people may not draw the line at murder As this is a certain type of resort there s also a fortune teller a stage magician an Italian Tenor and any number of colorful but believable characters Through it all the feel of the book is nostalgic without being sentimental the message one about the complexities of negotiating life s pitfalls Copy of this book provided by NetGalley Much appreciation for the opportunity to be an early reader as always my opinion is my own Weird stuff out of the way I Wellness, Not Weight just took note that this came out within fifteen days of Stephen King s Joyland And like Joyland they both take place as a coming of age tale with a young manoining the seasonal help at an amusement park decades before today with romance somewhat dismissable supernatural elements and very period political concernsOdd rightThat being said the uality of this particular novel was uite lulling and it evoked the whole sensation of this English bygone time that simmered with racial tensions and peculiar changing s Sex scams generally having a good time before college is the name of the game Hooking up with a woman with a domineering rather abusive boyfriend and running around without getting caught takes up most of the tale and I have to admit it s okay It s gentle amusing and it takes no real chances The skinhead convention definitely gave it good conflic College summer obs Remember yours Sometimes they could be life changing and sometimes they could be pure drudgery I had both kinds The best summers were when I was a camp counselor at two
different youth camps one in Iowa and one in Illinois 1984 and 1987youth camps one in Iowa and one in Illinois 1984 and 1987 easily two of the greatest summers of my life In between those years I spent a summer working for the custodial maintenance crew of my college dormitories I was teamed with another student and together our mission was to install idiot proof metal towel bars on the inside of EVERY dorm room in the complex Too many students were apparently climbing these bars like a ladder and they were freuently being destroyed So my buddy and I drilled holes and screwed every bar bracket securely in place leaving them rock solid in the event of any future door climbing shenanigans I even saw towel bars in my sleep at night Also my apartment that summer was smaller than my dorm room It did come with a hotplate that I never used Needless to say 1986 was mostly a summer of drudgery In THE GHOST IN THE ELECTRIC BLUE SUIT David Barwise is a British college planning to take a summer ob
on the east coast at a dying resort town called Skegness His reason for doing so is in part duethe east coast at a dying resort town called Skegness His reason for doing so is in part due an old photograph he finds of his father and him taken at a beach when he was only 3 In pencil on the back of the picture is simply written Skegness The man was David s birth father and actually passed away at the resort that long ago summer His mother uickly remarried and David has always known her carpenter husband Ken as his dad It s 1976 and David is assigned a ob as one of the Greencoats at the resort A Greencoat s major role is to organize and manage games and events for the annual holidaymakers that vacation at Skegness It was a place that reminded me of the resort in the Catskills from the film DIRTY DANCING Skegness seemed to be hanging on to the threads of the past as people began to lose interest in the Whist tournaments bowling greens and the crooners and dancers of the evening entertainment reviews These getaway resorts were on their last legs But David s summer was not one of drudgery He makes friends and meets a beautiful dancer named Nikki There s also a colorful cast of resort personnel and some mysterious occurrences over the hot summer weeks to come But mostly David tries to discover what happened to a vanished staff member while simultaneously being haunted by visions of a man in a blue suit Early on he is reluctantly taken under the wing of a brutish worker named Colin and his Nationalist party toadies Later he begins having ghastly nightmares and trouble sleeping Ultimately David seeks answers about his dead father not only from his mother but also from Madame Rosa the resort s fortune teller THE GHOST IN THE ELECTRIC BLUE SUIT has many of the Graham Joyce trademarks in that we are treated to compelling happenings of the here and now intertwined with aspects of the supernatural and the unknown afterlife He s also characteristically funny and thought provoking in this novel and I greatly enjoyed reading another splendid Joyce offering In the future I think David Barwise will look back on the summer of 1976 as one of his most memorable eve. Esort is under siege by a plague of ladybugs When David gets embroiled in a fiercely torrid love triangle the stakes turn and menacing and through it all David feels as though he is getting closer to the secrets of his own pa.
free read ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Graham JoyceAlogy for the holiday camp style of family entertainment that I can come up with is the movie Dirty Dancing The setting shares the carefully orchestrated daily programmes with activities involving everybody from small kids who compete in sandcastle construction or soccer to beauty and dance contest for the youngsters and evenings of cabaret dancing magician acts comedy skits bingo and heavy drinking for the older family members There is romance in the air but I found the plot comes closer to Water for Elephants than to Dirty Dancing in which a greenhorn Greencoat in this particular instance is initiated into the closed culture of a fringe artistic community and learns along the way some valuable life lessons Perhaps I d made the basic error of thinking that emotional intimacy automatically follows sexual intimacy David even falls for a femme fatale that is mistreated by her brutal husband but the analogy stops hereThe novel is not derivative and from the basic premises I ve sketched here it develops into a ghost story very well done in its turn although I often felt the supernatural stuff takes second place in the writer s priorities to capturing the setting and the mentality of the people at this particular moment in time While England struggles with unseasonal heat and political right wing upheaval David is trying to unravel two mysteries that may or may not be related the disappearance of his natural father in Skegness when he was three years old and the visitations by two see through figures with glass eyes that apparently are only visible to himGraham Joyce proves once again he is not only a talented storyteller but also a stylist elegant and subtle in the apparent simplicity of the text He can build intensely emotional scenes without excesses of violence or language preferring instead to rely on rhythm on silences and body language on attention to detail and strong characterization David tells his story in the first person and part of the charm of the novel is identifying with his problems Some readers may ask themselves why should I read yet another coming of age story they ve been done to death but there is something special about the moment when you leave the family nest when you start to stand on your own two feet when you get knocked about by life and you know you can t run to mommy or daddy to fix it when you get your heart for the first time thoroughly broken in pieces and when you learn to accept it and to eventually try again I liked in particular David s level headedness and sociable nature He is sometimes too passive for a main character and slightly too succesful with the ladies do all writers fulfill some of their youthfull sexual fantasies through their characters but he has a lot of common sense and basic decency going for himI would have given the novel five stars but I did have some slight issues with pacing and with loose ends left untied at the end But sometimes it is better to leave things unexplained and ambiguous than to try to fit everything nicely in its proper place It leaves the door open for speculation and challenges the reader to come up with his own solutions especially when the supernatural is involved All in all it was a bittersweet ourney down memory lane beautifully summarized in the novel s closing lines The future will be what we choose it to be ust so long as we carefully engineer the present As for the past it moves like sand under your feet These things happened a long time ago yet remain luminous in my mind As I write this I have resting on a pile of papers on my desk a glass paperweight Scarlet with black spots it is designed to look like
A Beautiful Ladybird P S I Ve Read Today Anbeautiful ladybird P S I ve read today an about how Skegness and other British resorts are struggling to survive in the third millenium tourist industry I hope this book will help a little
with revealing the real charm and the history of the location 35 starsthisrevealing the real charm and the history of the location 35 starsthis the 8th graham oyce novel i have read and it s in the dead center of my enjoyment of graham oyce spectrum it s not nearly as good as The Silent Land or Some Kind Of Fairy Tale but it is much better than The Tooth Fairy it s a historical coming of age novel that s not taking any big ambitious chances the way my favorite of his books do but it s uietly haunting with a perfect descriptive atmosphere that managed to make me nostalgic for a time
and place i never personally experienced this book is pretty much as straightforward as grahamplace i never personally experienced this book is pretty much as straightforward as graham gets yes there are supernatural elements but they are mild and can be written off with non magical explanations and they contribute to the tone without transforming the narrative into a full on ghost story this takes place in a coastal resort town during england s historic heat wave of 1976 which also saw a huge infestation of ladybugs which is what i am going to call them since ladybird doesn t feel right in my american head in england a heat wave means the temperature was in the 80 s F with a record high of 96Fand ladybug infestations look like thisdavid is using his summer away from university to work as a greencoat helping to entertain the vacationers at one of the holiday resorts in skegness the same village where his biological father died when david was three years old during this summer he will experience great highs and lows loves and lusts disillusionment obsession fear ghosts drugs companionship family secrets and the national front as he tries to find his place in the world and figure out what role he has in the lives of othersIt was one of the features of being a Greencoat The holidaymakers always wanted you to be photographed with them I might as well have been dressed up in a cuddly bear suit for all they knew of me Would my smiling face define the holiday for them Would I help to fill in a hole in their memories Even people whom I d never spoken with pulled me into their snapshots I often wondered what they would think when they reviewed these photographs maybe years later Would they only see the bright smile Or would they recognize a troubled young man behind it all But the photograph was a detail in a holiday story where I was a theater prop a bit of scaffolding on the stage I crossed from my story briefly into theirs and back againit s a subtle story without fireworks or aw dropping. Ears earlier but something undeniable has called David thereSomething different is happening in this town David is haunted by eerie visions of a mysterious man carrying a rope walking hand in hand with a small child and the