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E.W. HILDICK
Birdy Jones


click to enlarge

Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1975
(originally published by Faber & Faber in 1963)

dedication: To Steve Race


The blurb on the back:

Birdy Jones doesn't want to be a Pop Singer. Hundreds of people are Pop Singers...
Birds wants to be a Pop Whistler. Nobody's ever been one before.
If Fixer Clarke, Birdy's Manager has his way, Birdy's going to get to the Top...
Will he?
Birdy's first adventures in the Pop World make one of EW Hildick's funniest, fastest stories.

'Fast moving racy and alive' - Elaine Moss, Spectator


God knows what the point of this one is. Just in case it makes any sense to you, I'll run it up the flagpole and see if the cat licks it up. So there's this kid named Birdy Jones who's just leaving school in Grimston, a small town just outside Nottingham, and - being a bit of a dreamer - he fancies a career in whistling. His best mate is this other kid, Fixer Clarke, who volunteers to become his manager, and takes him to London to become a star.

First published in 1963 (don't be fooled by the paperback cover), this is supposed to be a kids' book, but it comes over like the kind of thing your English teacher would make the whole class read, not the one you'd choose for yourself. The attempts at comedy are strained to say the least, while the understanding of the pop scene is miniscule - even allowing for the period, 'Bye Bye Blackbird' wasn't very hip.

The continuing reprints of this bizarre concoction are almost as inexplicable as the fact that the book spawned three sequels. Three!


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
1/5


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