Dust – Mark ThompsonThe Last Word Review
There is nothing better for a book reviewer than to come across a new writer and his debut novel and Mark Thompson’s debut Dust is another fine example of the quality of new writers that have emerged during 2016.
With the backdrop of New Jersey in the later part of the 1960’s we follow the two friends J.J Walsh and Tony ‘El Greco’ Papadakis over the three-year period as the two boys share the experiences and life changing events. This is the era of the Vietnam War, the racial divide through America and a time that man stopped looking in wonder at the moon and actually walked on its surface as the world watched.
We see everyday life through the eyes of two 10-year-old boys who share a very special friendship a bond in fact as they face the everyday challenges that the late 1960’s could throw at them. The ongoing Vietnam War overshadows the lives and is heartbreaking at times. But the two boys have to overcome many things and J.J can see the ‘El Greco’ is having a traumatic time with his personal life. Racial prejudices are never far away in this story. The two boys are different than most 10-year-old’s with their cynical view of modern life. Two young boys and their young lives and having to deal with everyday things that many 10-year-old’s should not have to cope with.
Dust is a story that moves along at a steady pace and the focus of this story is very much on the two boys and is very much written in a style that many will recognise from other similar books of this time. It is beautifully written and one that many who discover Mark Thompson’s writing will come to love. One of those rare timeless books that people will discover in years to come and wonder why they never read it first time around.
A story that quietly captures the reader’s attention and imagination and never wavers from its undramatic stance. Quite simply this is an extraordinary novel and one where you feel the empathy for two young boys and the loss of some much not just the innocence of their years.
I am not just recommending Dust to you the reader I am hoping that you go and buy a copy on publication day and discover the story of JJ and ‘El Greco’ growing up quickly in suburban New Jersey. One story I will not forget in a hurry.
Thank you to Authoright and Red Door Publishing for the advanced review copy.
Dust by Mark Thompson is published by Red Door Publishing on 8 September available through Amazon, Waterstones, and all good booksellers.