My Own Worst Enemy
‘A small masterpiece’ The Spectator
My Own Worst Enemy is a wry and moving memoir of a working-class childhood in 1960s Sheffield, and the relationship between a touchy, tragicomic bully of a father and a son whose acceptance to grammar school puts him on another track entirely.
With a novelist’s eye, Robert Edric vividly depicts a now-vanished era: of working-men’s clubs; of tight-knit communities in factory towns; and of a time when a woman’s place was in the home. And he brings to colourful life his family, both close and extended – though over all of it hovers the vanity and barely-suppressed anger of his own father.
My Own Worst Enemy is a brilliantly specific portrait both of particular time and place – the Sheffield of half a century ago – and a universal story of childhood and family, and the ways they can go right or wrong.
'Held me rapt ... Edric's hyper-precise detailing of his working class Sheffield childhood and appalling father is utterly compelling and deserves many a prize' - Patrick Gale 'A brilliant portrait of growing up in 60s Sheffield ... [a] beautifully written, wonderful little book ... a powerful account ... The cover of this book describes it as a 'masterpiece'. You cannot argue with that' - Roger Alton, Daily Mail 'In astonishing detail, the novelist Robert Edric's boyhood in 1960s Sheffield - and his bullying father - burst off the page ... An absolute masterclass in how to set a scene' - Rachel Cooke, The Observer 'A painfully honest, almost Orwellian account of a struggling family expected to meet the every need of their demanding father, who never lets them forget that he deserved better in life' - Chris Nancollas, The Tablet 'The historical novelist Robert Edric deserves to be much better known ... terrific account ... brilliantly fixes in the mind a time and place that are now both utterly lost' - Sunday Times 'A rather remarkable - and remarkably un-depressing - memoir' - Clare Jenkins, On Magazine Praise for Robert Edric 'Edric's novels constitute one of the most astonishing bodies of work to appear from a single author for a generation' - Daily Telegraph 'Much contemporary fiction seems inconsequential and fleeting by comparison' - Guardian 'Edric is a novelist who makes his own rules and can't be compared with anyone else' - The Times 'This historical novelist's poignant look back at his 1960s childhood is a little gem ... summons up with great care a world that is now so unfamiliar that is feels like another planet ... a book that feels as rich and carefully observed as any one of Edric's historical novels ... should finally make Edric as celebrated as he so clearly deserves to be' - Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times
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