A comedy so black that you’d have to eat a lot of carrots to know whether George’s adventures are actually visible.
The Radio centres around the decline of the lovable, yet hapless George Poppleton, a middle-aged, henpecked father and husband who stumbles across an old transistor radio in his loft. His obsession with listening to the radio drives him on an unexpected journey, fuelled by the painful memories of the suicide of his only son many years before.
Whilst his only daughter, Sam, and wife, Sheila, plan perhaps the most ill-fated wedding ever conceived, the radio transports George further and further away from reality. When a garlic baguette is used as a lethal weapon and the hogs finally take a stand and turn on the farmer who is about to roast them, nothing is likely to go as smoothly as the family may have hoped. The accidental return of Sam’s ex-fiance, David, coupled with the endlessly drunk Auntie Lesley ensures that an almighty farce is just around the corner.
The Radio ends with an unimaginable twist, when the family realise that things are not at all how they seemed. It is a story of what it means to be a family, the perception of loving and being loved, and what it means to be sane.
This was where it all began. I wrote The Radio as my first novel. I had just lost my brother and it is loosely based on his suicide. It was the only way I felt that I could get my feelings out. I also wanted to experiment with a sort of black comedy running alongside something very serious. The main reason for the book was legacy. I didn’t want something to happen to me without my story being recorded somewhere. They were dark days and inventing George by amalgamating three people I knew and loved, brought a lot of comfort. I also loved writing the twist.— M. Jonathan Lee
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