DeadStar: Who the hell was Garth Tyson?

By Nick Griffiths. Zooloos Book Tours.

Faced with a book set in the prime punk and new age era, I felt a little out of my comfort. Of all the era’s, that’s the one I am least interested in. I know Bowie and other musicians from that time but they’ve never been high up on my radar… that might have to change.

Who the hell was Garth Tyson? What a question… If anything, you’ll want to keep reading this book just to find out what happened to Garth after he fled from the stage at Glastonbury 1985 and why the book starts with a stolen kettle!

This book by author Nick Griffiths is written in an interview format and is the first book I’ve read in that style – it worked really well. What I liked best about the way this has been done, is that despite the book following a chronological order of events (from the start of Garth’s first band right up to his disappearance) the author doesn’t split the interviews up by interviewee but instead inserts extracts and sections where relevant, no matter when the interview took place. This means that it flows well, you don’t miss anything out… and the further in I got, the more interested I got.

The characters being interviewed include Garth’s sister, other band members and agents and each one has a complete personality of their own portrayed only through their interview and Nick sets the picture for each character perfectly – in my head I know what they all look like and I’ll be upset if Nick tells me otherwise!!

This oral history is mysterious (after all we don’t know who and where Garth is!) and poignant – it covers a damaged childhood, broken relationships, living in squats but also the highs of falling in love and of being part of a family no matter where you are. But also, it’s written with great humour – even when the interviewees are reluctant to speak, due to remembering hard times, arguing with one another or just being a bit ‘off-ish’, it’s always done with humour and the way Nick has done this is a sign of a great author.

All the way through this book you want to pick up your phone and Google what happened, dive into the lives of the characters and find out the ‘real’ version of events but you can’t do that, because although it would be a very convincing true story – this is only a work of fiction. And that is the best bit about DeadStar by Nick Griffiths.

DeadStar: Who the hell was Garth Tyson? By Nick Griffiths.

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