This latest release from Andrew David Barker is just the book I needed to get me out of a slump I was in. Whilst it is only a short story, Barker has written a story that really speaks to me. Although I live in Australia, the first 29 years of my life were spent in England and the bank holiday (pubic holiday) was always a time to, well, get a little bit messed up.
Similarly with his book, Dead Leaves, reviewed here, Barker successfully captures a period of my life that I look back on very fondly. Bank Holiday All-Dayer is a cocktail of sex, drugs, drink and great fucking music. I remember the days well; hours spent in various pubs, drinking watered down lager whilst ogling the barmaids, minutes turning to hours as the night devolves into a drunken haze. Every drinking session was always a fierce contest with your mates to see who can get off with a girl first, or who can drink the most. The soundtrack to Barker’s story is superb. I remember Oasis and Blur going head-to-head, the Grunge explosion and hearing Nirvana for the very first time. These bands spoke to me, their songs were the soundtrack to a life that had yet to find real meaning or direction, similarly with Barker’s characters. Barker, I think, comes from a similar place and his story, I imagine, holds many elements that are autobiographical.
I love Andrew David Barker’s stories. He writes from the heart, uses realistic dialogue and his characters are always very realistic. If you are one of those that spent his/her teenage years in the UK in the mid 90s then Bank Holiday All-Dayer is essential reading and a shit-load of fun. Kick back for an hour and lose yourself in a drunken stupor. Ave it!
5/5 pints from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.