THE HALF LIFE OF JOSHUA JONES
Extract from the novel…
I tried to explain to her that I hadn’t come home because it didn’t feel right, but then she wanted to know what didn’t feel right. Was it her? Was it my bedroom? Was her cooking no good? Was it because she lived in a council block? Was there someone who had bullied me from round there? Was there someone I didn’t want to see? Had I been abused? Was Mr Lockheart from number 43 a pervert? Didn’t I think he was a weirdo with his long coat? Had he ever had a go at me? Did I want to see a doctor? A therapist? A psychoanalyst? A marriage councillor? Was she a bad mother? Where had she gone wrong? What could she have done better? Was I embarrassed that she was a cleaner? Did I remember I once said she had bad breath? Does she still have bad breath?
On and on it went, an endless daisy chain of randomly generated questions from the four corners of her brain. Every answer I gave led to more questions. And then we got on to the subject of Sheryl and she wanted to know if I was hiding anything else from her. Was I gay? Was Tom Cruise gay? Was my marriage a facade? Did I remember the time she caught me playing doctors with Harry Lumden when we were four? He had his trousers down and I was looking at his bottom? Did I think she cared if I was gay?
There seemed to be no answers I could give that satisfied her. Like a rabbit caught in the firing line of a machine gun, I hopped left and right dodging the bullets until eventually I could take it no longer and I screamed at her to leave me alone.‘
This is why I didn’t want to come home,’ I shouted in exasperation…
Scheinmann is a wonderful storyteller: humane, warm and funnyMAX RICHTER
Scheinmann is a brilliant and powerful storyteller. He takes the reader on a fun, roller coaster of a journey, manages to break your heart and make you laugh at the same time. Highly entertaining, with a wonderful reveal at the very end, this novel is deep and life affirming.TANIKA GUPTA MBE
A memorable novel.JEWISH CHRONICLE
Moving and insightful, The Half Life of Joshua Jones is a brilliantly written page-turner full of unexpected twists. Life , love and death are at the heart of this novel which is told with the tenderness of a gifted storyteller.SARAH GAVRON