The Wrong Boy

Patty Osborne

In The Wrong Boy, by Willy Russell (Doubleday), seventeen-year-old Raymond Marks hitchhikes from his hometown of Manchester to Grimsby, where his Uncle Bastard Jason has found him a job on a building site. Raymond considers Grimsby to be a pox hole but he’s agreed to take the job because he hasn’t been able to do much of anything right since he and a bunch of his buddies got caught catching flies with their foreskins when they were eleven years old. As he travels, Raymond writes to Morrissey, his favourite rock musician, describing the events that have shaped his life so far. Raymond figures that getting busted for fly-catching was what started him on the road away from normal; he has been trying to get back there ever since and this job could be just the ticket. But as he makes his way through his past misadventures, he begins to realize that normal may not be where he belongs. It takes him only a day and two nights to get to Grimsby, but he fills more than 4 pages—all of them fast-paced, engaging and hilarious—telling us all about it.

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