AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT by Samuel Lock

AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first novel by British playwright and screenwriter Lock offers an endearing coming-of-age fable set in London in the 1950s. Richard and Chuck, strangers eager to escape the matronly restrictions of the hostel they've been living in, decide to share a flat in South Kensington, though shy and compliant Richard doesn't quite know what he's getting himself into. No sooner do the two move in together than the domineering and gargantuan Chuck reveals his other personas, one being ""Auntie Zee,"" complete with turban and rolled-up socks for breasts. There's also the tough Chuck, resplendent in leather biker gear, who's more than a bit threatening to the bony-chested, virginal Richard. Richard, or ""Bobo,"" as Chuck has christened him, takes it all in good stride, for Chuck is the closest thing to a family he's ever had. Abandoned on a doorstep as an infant, Richard grew up contentedly enough at the ""home,"" though he still dreams of knowing the circumstances of his birth. As the novel progresses, the bouncy narrative takes a dark turn as Chuck becomes increasingly possessive of Richard and his burgeoning love life, forcing Richard and his new friend George to sneak around, stealing secret kisses and uncertain fumblings. The increasing if vague threat of violence that Chuck signifies, coupled with the potential discovery of Richard's father, throws poor Richard into a tailspin, until the abrupt fairy-tale ending. Told in the voice of a now older and wiser Richard, Lock's charming, conversational novel is enchanting enough that gaps in the story don't seem to matter.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1995
Page count: 201pp
Publisher: Jonathan Cape--dist. by Trafalgar