“23rd November 1963: according to Gerry and the Pace-makers, at the end of a storm there’s a golden sky, and the sweet silver song of lark. They’re still at number one, but breathing down their neck are the Beatles and a not-so-sweet silver song called She Loves You.”
Author: Paul Richard Scott Published: 2018 Pages: 164
A Path to Jupiter centres around a boy called Kip, full name Arthur Kippax, although he hates his full name. The narrative explores his life, his relationships with his friends and family, and the discoveries and realisations he makes as he grows up in Sheffield in the 50s and 60s. Written in the first person, we follow Kip through his school life and the way he forms relationships with those around him. Kip is a relatively ordinary boy, but as he experiences more and more of the world, he soon has to encounter some harsh realities and the unfortunate way that children can suffer.
I really liked Kip’s character. I think the author did a good job of creating him as a believable child, and his actions really reflected his naivety and innocence. The plot was interesting but I think my only real criticism would be that I wanted something more exciting to happen. Although I do enjoy books about ordinary people and their everyday lives, I think sometimes I just want some event, or exciting time. There was an event to do with Kip’s brother, (I won’t mention it because it’s a pretty big spoiler), Sherbet, but I think I wanted to see more of that, and experience more of how Kip felt about it, and reacted to it. All in all though, there was enough interesting plot and dialogue to keep me intrigued.
As most of the chapters started with a date, I liked the way Scott began most of the chapters with a reference to what was number 1 in the radio chart that week. It was a nice, repetitive thing to begin each one with, plus, although I was not around in the 60s, I imagine a reader who was would appreciate the nostalgic nod to the pop culture at the time. Scott’s writing throughout was very enjoyable and I felt very much immersed in the narrative, he added a lot of detail which was a nice touch to the authenticity.
Overall this book was nothing ground-breaking or spectacular, but I did like it. It was harmless, and entertaining and it was enjoyable to live inside the mind of Arthur Kippax for a couple of hundred pages. I enjoyed Scott’s writing and I think he has a talent for creating plausible and likeable characters who seem to meld into the pages with ease.
Thank you to the author, Paul Richard Scott, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.