Johnny Come Home

Johnny Come HomeWhat I remember of the 70s: falling off a swing and rolling backwards with the momentum. That’s it. So I’m not qualified to pronounce on the authenticity of Jake Arnott’s Johnny Come Home, but it felt real while I was reading it.

The novel has three protagonists: Pearson, an artist; Nina, a political activist; and Sweet Thing, a glammed up rent boy. It’s 1972 and the UK is in unrest. The first chapter describes a death, and the fallout from this death is what drives the plot.

It felt pretty evocative of the time. I could feel the political tension, the paranoia on the part of the political protestors and the police. I could imagine Pearson’s pain. And most of all, I could understand Sweet Thing’s tough exterior and life choices (not that I’d join him).

A good novel that I would pass on to someone who might remember the 70s, too.