Bomber Jackson Does Some by Bob Boyton (Books 2023, 2) 📚

First, cards on the table, Bob is a friend of mine. Bomber Jackson Does Some is his first novel, self-published in 2012. He gave us a copy back then, and it’s taken me till now to read it.

Just because of the size of my to-read piles, not any quality concerns.

Bomber is an ex-boxer and an alcoholic. At the start of the novel he has just got out of prison. As you might imagine from such a setup, things largely go downhill from there. His thoughts include a fair amount of slang, some of which I didn’t understand, but the meaning was usually clear from context. For example, he refers to two homeless men as ‘real old-fashioned paraffins’. Paraffin lamp = tramp, I assume.

It’s written in first person, present tense, which I think is quite a hard voice to sustain. Bob does a good job of getting us inside Bomber’s head, and the story flows along at fine old rate.

All in all, top stuff. Recommended if you can get hold of a copy.


Together We Will Go by J Michael Straczynski (Books 2023, 1) 📚

Content warning: suicide

The first book of the year. JMS of Babylon 5 fame tells the story of a group of people who, each for their own varied reason, want to end their life.

One of their number arranges a final bus trip, across the USA, with the plan being to drive off a cliff in California. There are legal implications, so the law gets involved.

It’s desperately sad, yet happy and life-affirming at the same time. It’s told through first-person accounts of each of the characters, who have been asked to journal their experience. They’re very well-developed and you grow attached to them.

So you don’t want them to die. But you do want them to make it.