James Gault reviews reviews The Summer of 71 by Ted Bun
Another new novel from prolific story teller Ted Bun, but it heralds a slight change of mood for him. Ted’s fans who know him for his feel-good naturist books are in for a bit of a surprise. Has he been tempted by the dark side?
It’s not like an out-and-out film noir, but Ted’s good guys characters have traditionally been very good, and his bad ones maybe a bit naughty and at worst quite unpleasant. This book celebrates the good side as enthusiastically as ever. Hero Mick and heroine Sam are a young couple,
considerate and kind to each other and everyone else, and attracted to naturism by its culture of openness and helpfulness. But in this book they have to deal with others who are more than ‘not nice’; they are downright evil. Set, as the title suggests, in the early seventies, it captures not only the era’s good times – the motor cycles, the heavy rock music, the freedom of sunny beaches - but also the harsh world of teenage gangs, organised crime, extortion and drugs.
The couple meet in London in violent circumstances, from which they have to escape. Like the good guys they are, they decide to face up to the evil rather than just run away. So even as romance blossoms, they are constantly under threat, looking over their shoulders in case danger catches up with them. The author creates an atmosphere of joy underpinned with tension that keeps the reader’s attention from beginning to end.
Worth a read – it’s one of the good ones!