Aberystwyth: two languages, a university, a farming community, a port turned marina, the National Library of Wales, home of writers and spies, was made recently famous, or infamous, by Malcolm Pryce's novels. It's any number of conflicting and complimentary things from its medieval beginnings through its Victorian heyday to the fluid mix of longstanding natives, large student population and colony of those who came and never left. Scouse Niall Griffiths may yet be one of the latter, and Aber and its environs have provided a rich source of material for his four novels. What does he make of the place outside of fiction? In the characteristic style of the "Real" series, this book mixes autobiography with topography, alligns the oblique approach with historical report, and contrasts the prosaic with the downright odd. Niall Griffiths has stepped outside his usual genre to produce an enthralling picture of a world famous town.
Niall Griffiths is the award-winning author of "Stump" and "Wreckage." He is a regular reviewer for "The Guardian" and a commentator on contemporary writing for a number of magazines. Peter Finch is an editor and writer.