A teenager stares at his reflection and sees the Milky Way. A motorbike prowls and growls like a wild animal. A whale sings a song to end loneliness.
Philip Ridley’s collection of short stories – like his two earlier adult novels, Crocodilia and In the Eyes of Mr Fury – became an instant cult classic when first published in 1990. Magical, poetic, heartbreaking and humorous, the sequence explores childhood, family life, romantic love in all its aspects – lost, unrequited, obsessional – and does so with a haunting mixture of both the barbaric and the beautiful that has become Ridley’s trademark. In particular, these tales deal with the experience of growing up gay in a world still bristling with prejudice, and they sing and howl with the need for equality and freedom.
This edition includes two new stories, ‘Alien Heart’ and ‘Wonderful Insect’, and finally completes a seminal and compelling collection first begun over thirty years ago.
‘Ridley sets off a deliberate quiet and matter-of-fact prose against touches of glowing passion ...The stories achieve a startling variety. The power of the book as a whole, however, derives from the way in which these different voices blend in a single cry of frustration and regret.’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘Menace lurks in the shady corners of family life ... Chilling.’ – Time Out
‘Ridley is a visionary.’ – Rolling Stone