The recent news that the Nineties are now officially vintage might have made us feel old, but it also made us seriously nostalgic. If you’re feeling a similar way, pick up a copy of The Adult by Joe Stretch. An offbeat coming-of-age tale set in the Nineties, its depiction of the era is so good that you can almost smell the wafts of Lynx Africa as you turn the page.
It’s told from the perspective of Jim Thorne, a lad with an unusual interest in inflatable dolphins and an uncontrollable lust for every girl he encounters. Growing up in a family of famous aunts, with a computer-games obsessed Dad and an arty older sister with issues, it’s not surprising that Jim has a bit of a rough time as a teenager. His experiences of awkward first kisses and fumbling sexual experiences are probably something we can all relate to.
But as time goes by, and we move from the heady days of 2 Unlimited and D:Ream through Blur v Oasis to the present day, Jim’s issues move with him into adulthood and the reader starts to wonder if he will ever be able to grow up and face the huge responsibility he’s presented with.
Funny, sad, bewildering and painfully honest, it’s a must-read for all fans of Joe Dunthorne’s Submarine.