Cockerings by Stevyn Colgan — A review

Cockerings is pronounced Corrings by the way, as Bruce explained to me when he finished reading it recently and asked if he could do a review.

Are you a ‘dash-into-the-bookshop-at-the-airport’ kind of person? Perhaps you’re more of a ‘loiter-in-the-bookshop-over-coffee’ type? Either way, I’d say Cockerings by Stevyn Colgan is a great addition to any book collection. Personally, I think it’s a great answer to the “What book shall I buy for my holiday?” question (remember holdiays?) or for a lazy afternoon curled up with a funny book. As we moved into that “great gift buying season at the end of the year that won’t yet be mentioned” it would also make a great gift, or perfect Secret Santa if you wanted something beyond the usual socks or bottle of cheap plonk.

I was very excited to see Stevyn’s new book had come out because I love his way with words. He’s a fan of unusual names, inventing many for his book but the name in the title is a real one, an old country name in fact.

I particularly like the way he paints his little corner of England – first he wrote about an author being murdered at a fan convention in A Murder To Die For, then a secret society and its machinations in The Diabolical Club, and finally, in Cockerings, a geriatric circus disturbing the perfect village with its dysfunctional landlords. I’m hoping there’ll be more to come.

As he notes in one of his commentary pieces, South Herewardshire is nowhere and everywhere. It’s the little village you know, or remember, frozen in time. It’s here but not here, like that school for wizards.

The opening chapters will leave you slightly dazed as the scene – which would happily grace an Ealing comedy – hurtles along at breakneck pace.

It can make you laugh, but in a grown-up way. At times you’ll feel guilty for it but you’ll laugh anyway. There is farce and anguish and the genuine affection he feels for the characters he’s created rubs off on you. For some of them, at least.

The cover might make you think it’s not a grown-up book; don’t be fooled. There’s no murder in this one (spoiler alert) but I hope that if you take the chance on this, you’ll be richly rewarded.

Available at all good book shops from around £8. Or you could follow Stevyn on Unbound where Stevyn, and other authors crowd fund to get their books published. That way you would be notified when Stevyn publishes his next book and maybe back his project to ensure it’s published. Depending on the level of support you would then receive your copy of the book. And know you helped get it out into the wild within a like minded community.

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