I know I said I wouldn’t be writing blogs for a while but I found something I must share. It is a short story called ‘Every Good Boy’ and it is written by one of my favourite authors called David Nicholls. He wrote the bestselling novel ‘One Day’.
For escapism and some light relief, you must read this short story. It is simple, evocative and totally delightful. I have read it four times already and I am about to go in for the fifth.
By the way, I met David Nicholls at the Wimbledon Book Fair in 2010 and I like him as a person as much as I love his writing. He is genuinely super talented and it is no surprise that he won the literary jackpot with ‘One Day’. He participated in a forum discussion with two other authors and afterwards I overheard him asking the organiser if she was sure he did ok and was she happy with the way in which he conducted the session. He’s humble, self-effacing and his popularity has not gone to his head. He’s an all-round nice guy. I can’t wait for his next book.
Here is the story or you can access it on The Guardian’s website using the link above:
Every Good Boy
By David Nicholls
The black lacquered monster loomed in the doorway, my father and Uncle Tony grinning from behind its immense bulk, red-faced from exertion and lunchtime pints. “They were going to throw it away so I said we’d have it.”
My mother looked as if she might cry. “Take it back, please, I’m begging you.”
“But it’s free! It’s a completely free piano!”
“What are we going to do with a piano, Michael? You can’t play it, I can’t play it – ”
“The kid’s going to play it. You’re going to learn, aren’t you, maestro?”
At the age of nine I was remarkable for being entirely without ability. My sister was a gifted and influential majorette, my older brother could dismantle things, but at that time of my life I could – and this really is no exaggeration – do nothing well. Graceless, charmless, physically and socially inept, I lacked even the traditional intelligence of the nerdy. “But there must be something you can do,” my father would sigh as I fumbled the ball, fell from the tree, bounced clear of the trampoline. “Everybody can do something.”
And what if this piano was the answer? Mozart was composing concertos at nine, and surely the only reason that I hadn’t followed suit was because I didn’t have access to the same tools. With the piano still on the doorstep, I lifted the lid and pressed a key. It boomed, doomy and industrial, like a sledgehammer striking a girder. I smiled and decided that I would become a prodigy.