April 3rd 2000
272 pages
B-format paperback



The Pig Bin by Michael Richardson

Buy Now Price £6.99

An offbeat, moving and hilarious novel of growing up in the Midlands in the 1940s

The Independent

The Pig Bin is a laugh-out-loud novel about the embarrassing escapades of a wartime adolescent. Morley Charles is a shy Catholic boy with a stammer. His mother disapproves of most of his friends, the local scruffs. His father is away at the war, his uncle a black marketeer, the drunk lodger a source of shame. And Morley is desperate to find the right word to describe the sinful pleasure he’s just discovered, so he can make his confession and not go straight to hell if a bomb falls on him.

But the American serviceman who’s sweet on his neighbour has given him a brand new lumber jacket. May, his aunt, is generous with the affection his mother seems unable to show. If he pretends to be French his stammer miraculously vanishes and his artistic talent might give him a future at the Balsley School of Art. The war’s nearly over too. If he could only find that word…

The Pig Bin is a wryly affectionate account of a diffident but artistically gifted Catholic schoolboy suffering the pains of puberty in the English Midlands as World War II draws to a close. Funny and touching by turns, it evokes that time and place with the authenticity of an old family snapshot

David Lodge

Morley Charles, the just-into-long-trousers hero of Michael Richardson’s first novel, is a charming, comic creation… Wartime atmosphere is spot on, and there’s at least a smile on every page

Time Out

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