Believe in the Sign is about a damp corner
of England where nothing much but everything happens. It is
a ‘sort of a memoir' of a normal, average boy who would have
grown up happily average and normal but for a dark and perverse
passion: the seductive lure of masochistic devotion to a no-hope,
near-derelict football club.
But it isn't all joyously uplifting. Swimming through the
murk is a swarm of snapshots that bring growing up in the 1970s
and 1980s into startling focus. Mad kids and sad kids and good
kids from broken homes; teenage wrecking parties; pub brawls;
long existential marches along the motorway banking; the baiting
of Elton John and a club chairman caught playing 'away from
Then Death bumps into Life. A girl is abducted and the town
becomes a cave, the light sucked out. Meanwhile in the sunny
shine outside, the future is afoot: cotton mills close down
and supermarkets invade; school-leavers evolve into YOP-fodder
and everyone's mum is holding Tupperware parties to get the
down-payment on a colour telly.
Variously serious and funny, steely-eyed and tender, Hodkinson
plumbs the depths but isn't afraid of the shallows. Dip a toe.
the papers say | MarkHodkinson.com