‘My name is Flick and these are the images of my disconnected life, my forgettable weeks and unforgettable weekends. I am one of the disaffected youth.’
Marooned by a lack of education (and lack of anything better to do), Will Flicker, a.k.a. “Flick,” spends most days pondering the artistry behind being a stoner, whether Pepsi is better than Coke, and how best to get clear of his tiny, one-horse suburb. But Flick senses there’s something else out there waiting for him, and the sign comes in the form of the new girl in town—a confident, unconventionally beautiful girl named Rainbow. As their relationship develops, Flick finds himself torn between the twisted loyalty he feels to his old life and the pull of freedom that Rainbow represents.
Having previously read (and loved) Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin I was excited to see what her previous novel had to offer. Fortunately for me, Flick is an excellent story.
Without trying to make comparisons between this and Golden Boy (because believe me it would be a difficult thing to do – it would be like comparing a tree with a unicorn) I do have to comment on the growth that you can see in Tarttelin’s writing. That is not to say that Flick isn’t well written – it is ridiculously good – but having read both books in the wrong order I can definitely see how Tarttelin’s writing has matured.
Flick has all the angsty high school drama that you would expect from a cast of characters who are all still in their teens – and then some. To liken it to a teenage Trainspotting wouldn’t be wrong. It has all the elements required to be similar to the Irvine Welsh classic – starting with the sassy narration.
Flick, our protagonist, has a disaffected way of looking at life. Having lived the working class life his whole life he sees no glorious future in staying in his home town. However, dreams for bigger better things are not something that the working class kids should aspire to – because for the people of small seaside town of Cleveland, it just ain’t gonna happen!
Tartellin’s voice as a writer is amazing. You feel compelled to read her stories because she has such a gritty grip on the nuances of her characters, their situations and the society they live in. She is one of the better contemporary writers we have and more people should know about and celebrate her work.
Flick by Abigail Tarttelin is available now.
You can follow Abigail Tarttelin (@abigailsbrain) on Twitter.