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HOW I LEARNED TO BE A FRIEND,
HAVE A FRIEND & FINALLY LOVE MY BIRTHDAY.
Martin Milnes was born in the wrong era – or at least that’s how it seemed. As a child he wore jazz-shoes to his junior school disco, expecting eight-year-olds to Mambo like the dancers in West Side Story… but childhood and school days were no Broadway musical.
Martin was different – the cat who walked alone. Birthdays, stingingly empty, held a horrific reminder that he possessed no talent for friendship. Yet once Martin emerged on stage, the jeering turned to cheering; the lonely void was filled by Hollywood stars of yesteryear, worshipped from afar. However – hope was hilariously at hand – and Now, Voyager Martin sailed forth on a Topsy-Turvy expedition into Friendship! But when his world shattered, the stars were there for him; and this time in person. The last surviving veterans of a glamorous era extended their guiding hands. Centenarian swimming partners, D-Day hero drinking chums, and propositions from naughty nonagenarians became every-day normality – and the wisdom, understanding and truths which they passed on completely transformed Martin’s life, outlook and spirit.
At last, with their help, the Wild Card learned how to be a Friend – and realised what a Birthday truly represents. Not to mention, along the way, coming to terms with something which perhaps he should have recognised long ago…
This is a coming-of-age, coming-out, come-and-meet-me story that’s by turns funny and touching, revelatory and heart-warming.
Tom Perrin, Zuleika Books
Martin's book is a lively romp through Carry On films, disastrous dates, Old Hollywood gossip, forging a 21st Century career-path, wartime heroism, snowstorms thwarting virginity loss, Gilbert & Sullivan, and an afternoon spent with a dominatrix! But it is also a powerful story of coming-of-age and a search for identity.
I am excited and proud to have this on my list.