Satirical and yet compassionate, Childish Things begins with a funeral at which Gregor McLeod, a retired school-master aged 72, is mourning the death of his wife Kate. It soon becomes evident, however, that McLeod has been something of a womaniser and, despite his very recent (and heartfelt) bereavement, is being pursued by an assortment of attractive women. Jenkins proceeds to explore McLeod’s adventurous escapades with these ladies both at home and abroad. The result is a tremendously compelling comic novel which retains all the sharpness, wit and pace that is customary from Jenkins, combined with a mellow, wry wisdom that never fails to entertain. His central theme, do we ever outgrow ‘childish things’?, is explored with captivating insight and delicious humour. This is a gloriously readable novel from a consummate storyteller.
“Richly comic and satirical.”
scottish Book Collector
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“a prolific and accomplished writer.”
“This is a book which is a sheer delight. It never flags and every page makes you want to read the next.”
“As a story teller, Jenkins has few equals. Cynicism and slickness are out. Pace and razor-sharp observations are in.”
“He covers serious themes with a deceptively light, engaging tone. His upbeat take on sexuality suggests a male Isla Dewar, or a grown-up Mike Gayle.”
Author of a number of landmark novels including The Cone Gatherers, The Changeling, Happy for the Child, The Thistle and the Grail and Guests of War, Jenkins is rapidly attaining recognition as one of Scotland’s greatest writers. The themes of good and evil, of innocence lost, of fraudulence, cruelty and redemption shine through his work. His novels, shot through with ambiguity, are rarely about what they seem. He published his first book, So Gaily Sings the Lark, at the age of thirty-eight, and by the time of his death in 2005, over thirty of his novels were in print.