Today Mandie completes her journey through the Disco Days trilogy from David F. Ross with a review of The Man Who Loved Islands. I have loved catching up with this series and you can read my review right here. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
The Disco Boys and The Band are back… In the early 80s, Bobby Cassidy and Joey Miller were inseparable; childhood friends and fledgling business associates. Now, both are depressed and lonely, and they haven’t spoken to each other in more than ten years. A bizarre opportunity to honour the memory of someone close to both of them presents itself, if only they can forgive…and forget. With the help of the deluded Max Mojo and the faithful Hamish May, can they pull off the impossible, and reunite the legendary Ayrshire band, The Miraculous Vespas, for a one-off Music Festival The Big Bang on a remote, uninhabited Scottish island?
Absurdly funny, deeply moving and utterly human, The Man Who Loves Islands is an unforgettable finale to the Disco Days trilogy a modern classic pumped full of music and middle-aged madness, written from the heart and pen of one of Scotland’s finest new voices.
The Man who Loved Islands is the final book in the Disco days trilogy and once again focuses on the lives of Bobby Cassidy and Joey Miller and what became of them following the events in the Last Days of Disco. The once close friends are now very distant, and their lives have certainly taken different paths. Bobby has continued with his love of music and has become a successful DJ in Ibiza; Joey has taken a totally different route and is an architect possibly not the career path he would have originally imagined for himself. On the face of it they appear to have nothing in common but dig deeper and you can see that ultimately neither one is happy with their lives and they both have regrets that are impacting on them and the decisions they are now making.
With the book spanning between the late 80’s and 2014/2015 David Ross treats his readers to the highs and lows of Bobby and Joey with both humour and sadness in equal measure. There are two very distinct paces to the book. With the first half looking at what has happened to Bobby and Joey (or Joseph as he is now known) the scene is being set for the more intense pace as they finally reconnect and once again find themselves in the middle of chaos primarily instigated by Max Mojo who has also reappeared in their lives.
Both characters have their flaws and seeing them go through highs and lows of their chosen paths. What initially makes them happy eventually leaves them feeling alone and as age finally catches up with them you can’t help but feel sorry for them as they realise that maybe they no longer know what to do with themselves. And that is where this book stands out for me as it is easy to relate to the frustrations of family dynamics, career and friendship that are depicted throughout this brilliant series and the fact that it comes full circle back to the people that we started with is just perfect.
There is still that nostalgic vibe throughout the book brought via the playlist that peppers the story and that along with references to Live Aid had me smiling at the memories of that time. This is definitely one that will resonate with people of this era but for those who may be a tad younger you will get a glimpse of what your parents may have been like. And finally, I managed to read the Scottish phrases without having to think about what they might mean.
About the Author
David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP. Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.
Books by David F. Ross