Wheelers Books
21: 45

21: 45 (Trade Paperback / Paperback)

By Saunders, Sue

  • RRP: $31.99
  • $21.85
  • Save $10.14
  • In Stock US

21:45 is a coming of age novel, with a twist. This gritty black comedy presents the reader with six possible outcomes: what kind of 45 year old did the suicidal 21 year old become? 21:45 is in two parts and refers to age of the main protagonist. It is set in inner city London and... spans the 1960's to 2008. This is the blurb Tara Gladden - Editor, Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, London, - wrote for 21:45: 'A shabby council flat is not an ideal mise-en-scene for an existential crisis. Like Holden Caulfield in French knickers, the heroine of 21:45 is a wise-cracking, whip-smart outsider. Unlike Holden, she lives for film noir and borstal boys - until the day her rough diamond, Charlie, dies. By the time she's 21 she's ready to throw her tarnished life away. But what lives - brave, sad, thrilling, foolish, important lives - could she be missing out on?' This was Tara Gladden's summary of the style, content and quality of 21:45: 'Sue, this manuscript made me laugh out loud. Your heroine has such a unique voice - funny, dirty, irreverent, inventive, raw. It's been a long time since I encountered such a complex and compelling heroine. The world she inhabits is convincingly grimy and mundane, with unexpected flashes of beauty to make it bearable. The romance with Charlie is described in such an honest, visceral way that the words on the page seemed to generate their own heat. I'm certain that you have a real talent for writing.' The 21 part of the book begins with our film noir obsessed heroine experiencing yet another panic attack. She intends to commit suicide, but is concerned about ceasing to be before she's actually been and so decides to write her memoirs. The style is intimate and conversational - she wants to woo her reader. Following a patchy childhood, at age fourteen she discovers alcohol, shoplifting and sex; disco and punk provide the soundtrack. After losing her virginity to Lee, without even having removed her cardigan, she meets Charlie, a Steve McQueen look alike and housebreaker extraordinaire. Charlie makes her 'real' because she is loved. In 1979, age sixteen, she leaves school. Bored with her first job in the Civil Service, she decides to go to college, but a week before term starts she discovers that Charlie has died in Borstal. Nothing is ever the same again. In an attempt to understand her 'fall', she proceeds to try to educate herself by buying a beret and reading novels such as Nausea and Steppenwolf. At college, she meets James - a photographer who tames her cows lick, but fails to win her heart. As 21 progresses, she becomes increasingly bored and depressed. In her search for a 'reason to be', she attempts to write a best seller, tries psychotherapy and advertises in Time Out's lonely hearts column. Using funds siphoned from yet another dead end job, she goes on a budget coach trip round Europe with a group of pensioners and has sex with the coach driver, mainly because he resembles James Caan. 21 ends in the early hours. Our heroine has arranged her death bed mise en scene, complete with replica gun and a still from Gilda. Morrissey and Marr provide the music. 45 begins with a comic rant about how much Fulham has changed. Six 'what happened next' scenarios are then outlined by our now middle age (though possibly decreased) heroine. Two of these seem highly unlikely; one involves an idyllic afterlife, in which a devoted Jake Gyllenhaal mows the lawn in just his knickers. The final two outcomes both feature Charlie's brother foiling her suicide plans. But which of the 45 year olds is she? The three books that inspired me to write 21:45 are: The Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar and Nausea. I wanted to write an offbeat novel with a quirky working class heroine who would get under the reader's skin (and possibly in to their underwear drawer) and stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Read more

ISBN 9781493523702
Released NZ 30 Sep 2013
Publisher Createspace
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Internationally sourced; ships 6-14 working days

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781493523702
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; ships 6-14 working days
Publisher Createspace
Imprint Createspace
Released 30 Sep 2013
Publication Country United States United States
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Author(s) By Saunders, Sue
Category Modern Fiction
Number of Pages 310
Dimensions Width: 152mm
Height: 229mm
Spine: 16mm
Dewey Code Not specified
Weight 413g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text General & Literary Fiction
ONIX Text General/trade