Nine-year-old Tom Boler comes home one day to find his mother gone. What happens next is his story as he negotiates a new, perilous, adult world. He is visited by Uncle Dustman, who collects rubbish bags and is obsessed with donkeys; he is adopted briefly by Primula Spatula, a posh dipsomaniac, and has a run-in with bad boys in the park before being retrieved by the mysterious Boxy, who lives with Roxy. Tom becomes part of their strange family with all its secrets and quickly meets their friends - including the sinister Robert Tablet- the one with the bags of 'spangles' that make everything go peculiar. Then Tom's real adventures begin. In this extraordinary prequel to BOXY AN STAR, Daren King looks obliquely at the inner-city world of ecstasy, sexual promiscuity and sexual confusion, class conflict and poverty - all through the wide-open eyes of nine-year-old Tom- very innocent, but very eager to try it all.
Daren King was born in 1972 in Harlow, Essex. He was educated at Bath Spa University College, Bath, where he graduated in Creative Studies. He is the author of two previous novels, Boxy an Star, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Guardian First Book Award, and Jim Giraffe.