The Roundabout Man, Hardback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Who is the Roundabout Man? He doesn't look like a tramp, yet he lives on a roundabout in a caravan and survives on the leftovers from a nearby motorway service station.

He calls himself Quinn, the name of a boy in a world-famous series of children's books, but he's nearer retirement than childhood.

What he hopes no one will discover is that he's the real Quinn, immortalised as a child by his mother in her entrancing tales about a little boy's adventures with his triplet sisters.

It is this inheritance he has successfully run away from - until now.

When Quinn's reclusive existence is invaded, he has to turn and face his past, and all the uncomfortable truths it contains about himself, his sisters and, most of all, his mother.

By the author of Astonishing Splashes of Colour and The Man Who Disappeared, The Roundabout Man delivers a wittily observed slice of modern life as it plumbs the gulf between nostalgia and reality.




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Clare Morrall has not let me down yet. I've read four of her five published books (so far) and they've all been excellent reads. Quinn Smith is the character in a series of books from the 1950s, along with his triplet sisters. But Quinn Smith is also a real person, on whom the character was based. And after years of having to live up to people's expectations of what he should be like he rebels and goes to live on a roundabout in a caravan.When he's attacked and his caravan is vandalised he finds himself back in society and having to learn to deal with people and his issues again.This is a lovely read. It flits around a lot between the distant past, the more recent past and the present, but it's quite easy to follow and I was never confused as to which time I was reading about. I also found the whole family dynamic in the book really interesting. I would guess that Quinn's mother is based on one or two well-known children's writers from the era, writers who dazzled and enchanted children with their stories but couldn't quite deal with their own children and give them a happy childhood.Really enjoyed this one and look forward to more from this author.

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