Book Review: Naughty Boy by Eddy Brimson

Eddy Brimson is a talented boy.

He can count amongst his many attributes, award-winning comedian, best-selling author, actor and film maker.

His latest offering is a novella, Naughty Boy, which as the Introduction inform readers, started life as screenplay. Its journey continued as Brimson sought to turn the screenplay into a book, but along the way spawned a one-man play which received critical acclaim at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before the novella release in March 2021.

At just 120 pages, it is a tightly written piece, which Brimson acknowledges is influenced by George Orwell who in Why I Write, championed the value of making every single word count. And it is an incredible achievement that in just under twenty-five thousand words, Brimson is able to pack in so much.

The central character is Joe, who narrates throughout, in a storyline that begins and ends at a mental institution, sandwiched between a weekend away watching his football team with his mates. It is a heady mix of drink, drugs, sex and violence, all told with an authenticity born out of Brimson’s knowledge of football fan culture. Indeed, the pace is such that as a reader you feel the adrenalin rush and flashes of anger cursing through the character.

However, there is so much more to this novella detailed within the dialogue, as the author uses Joe to explore various themes. Prominent amongst these, is the idea of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’, whether this is associated with the class structure and politics within this country, those locked away in institutions or indeed rival football gangs. The idea of morality is also challenged as Joe deals with certain situations by meting out his own ‘justice’, whilst maintaining that those in high office can be equally questionable in handing out moral judgements.

As a reader it leaves you to question whether we all ‘play the game’ to some extent to suit our own needs. Are we all essentially self-centred, doing certain things that are morally wrong, but justifying it to ourselves to avoid the guilt – or are we just all naughty boys and girls?

(March 2021. Paperback 120 pages)



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Posted April 14, 2021 by Editor in category "Reviews

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