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The Watchers and the Watched

Authors: Sid Chaplin

Published by Flambard Press

ISBN: 9781873226735

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"The Watchers and the Watched may be his best novel. This story is simple in outline, like most of the best stories, and it follows the initiation into manhood through marriage of a man who is thwarted by circumstances. He knows it but in the end sees a greater richness in ceasing to kick against it. The novel is embedded in a world of heavy machinery, of customs, of relationships and of language, much of which is now all but gone. In that sense it is as local in time as it is in place as it is on the tongue. But Sid Chaplin knew and was motivated by the truth that the local, explored well and fully, can aspire to the universal, and this is the aspiration which lifts and powers The Watchers and the Watched." (From the foreword by Melvyn Bragg)

In a rapidly expanding city, blacksmith Tim 'Tiger' Mason leaves behind a cherished single life for the uncharted territory of marriage. Tiger's fierce independence leads him to resist the forces around him: his relationship with his new wife Jean simmers as new boundaries are established, while he and his childhood friends struggle to comprehend the changing fabric of Newcastle. Yet Tiger also allies himself with those he feels sympathy for, taking on a slum landlord and joining a young Asian immigrant to confront racism. As the city becomes more complicated and demanding, Tiger finds that personal relationships bring new discoveries. He and Jean forge trust and firm friendship in their physically charged marriage, and he grows closer to his dying father before learning for himself the unimagined joy of fatherhood.
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