April 05, 2020
Sacred Reads: I'll go to Bed at Noon, Gerard Woodward
I'll Go to Bed at Noon by Gerard Woodward is an account of an impoverished middle-class family living in north London in the 1970s. However, this is not a whimsical story of make-do-and-mend and or putting on a brave face for the neighbours, the Joneses are blighted by alcoholism and this, the second volume of a trilogy, charts their rapid, somewhat visceral, demise. If this sounds depressing, well, it can be very sad - but it's also very funny and extremely compelling. Woodward, who is also a prize-winning poet, writes beautifully without a trace of sentimentality or judgement and it is a testament to his writing that his larger than life characters ring so true. You don't have to read the first book of the trilogy, August, to appreciate I'll Go to Bed at Noon, but it is extremely worthwhile in its own right and the very existence of the third novel, A Curious Earth, is surely an indication maybe all is not lost for the Joneses after all.