Not Tonight Neil is an innovative mix of psycho-thriller and period satire, set in 1969 on a Manchester council estate. Forty-something satirical cartoonist Dennis Pugh publishes ‘Noises Through the Wall’, the story of his teenage years, going through puberty only a thin wall away from his sexually exuberant neighbours. Now those formative years, and noises through the wall, emerge again, this time in the form of murder.
The novel cleverly combines social realism and dark comedy: pitching together Dennis’s adolescent travails and impossible longings with the puzzle of who commits the central murder. Not Tonight Neil, deftly handles not only coming of age, but the struggles of people living in close proximity to carve out their own identities.
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Ian Gregson is an award-winning poet whose latest book of poems is How We Met (Salt, 2008); Call Centre Love Song (Salt, 2006) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. He has published poems and reviews in the London Review of Books, the TLS and Poetry Review, among others, and co-edited the anthology Old City, New Rumours with Carol Rumens (Five Leaves, 2010). He has also published five books of criticism on contemporary writing, including Character and Satire in Postwar Fiction (Continuum, 2004) and Postmodern Literature (Hodder Arnold, 2006). He teaches literature and creative writing in the English Department at Bangor University; is the editor of Salt Wales and recently judged the Wales Book of the Year 2010.