Days of the Bagnold Summer

Publisher: Jonathan Cape

Review

There is something painfully familiar about this simple, funny and sad graphic novel about a mum trying to engage her awkward, moody teenage metalhead of a son over the 6 weeks of his summer holiday during his 15th year.

In short page-long vignettes, we see fragments of the summer. Of the tension caused by his mood and his mess. Of her desperate attempts to get her son, Daniel out of the house, doing something, but something not involving his bad influence friend Kyp. Of her wanting them to laugh together. Of him thinking she's so uncool and she should just leave him alone and he just wants to listen to metal and can he borrow some money please. There's even a side story in which Daniel attempts to join a heavy metal covers band, only to find that his bandmates are much younger than him but brimming with confidence. Does this sound familiar?

Winterhart brings warmth to this story and the characters are so well-drawn out of a universal experience that everyone will read this and flinch at those times they thought their own parents were desperately uncool.

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