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Take Nothing With You - Patrick Gale

Paperback Published: 21st August 2018
ISBN: 9781472205346
Number Of Pages: 320

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From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER comes a new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality. For all readers of Ian McEwan's ATONEMENT or L P Hartley's THE GO-BETWEEN.

1970s Western-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother's quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother.

When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice.

Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale's new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.

About the Author

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester before going to Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. One of this country's best-loved novelists, his most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition, and the Costa-shortlisted A Place Called Winter. His original BBC television drama, Man In An Orange Shirt, was shown to great acclaim in 2017 as part of the BBC's Queer Britannia series, leading viewers around the world to discover his novels.


a brilliant read


"There was … an awed hush as she sat back on her piano stool, thrust out a shapely sandalled foot to her left, gazed up at the top left-hand reaches of the church, took an audible breath as though about to sing, and began to play. She didn't simply play the notes; she played as though urgently communicating. Listen! her playing said. This really matters!" Take Nothing With You is the sixteenth novel by award-winning British author, Patrick Gale. In his fifties, after a concerning diagnosis and the resultant surgery, Eustace finds himself in isolation for some 48 hours. He has been advised to bring only what he can leave behind, and intends to fill the time reading a novel, but his close friend Naomi has planned ahead, presenting him with a disposable MP3 player loaded with cello pieces. Some are new to him; others are old favourites that flood him with memories of his youth. Relieved of some rather unsuccessful lessons with an uninspiring teacher on a second-hand clarinet, the music recital that introduces eleven-year-old Eustace to the cello is a life-changing moment. And the idea that the beautiful and talented Carla Gold will give him lessons fills him with an overwhelming joy. Eustace has found his first love. During his obligatory seclusion, when he is not immersed in the memories of his adolescence and those first-time encounters with love and passion, with music and sex, Eustace muses on his new love, Theo. The reader also gets glimpses of the life Eustace has led following those momentous years, the milestone events that have brought him to this point in his life. Gale populates his novel with a marvellous cast of characters: many are kind and generous; some are staggeringly single-minded; others disappoint with their behaviour, being selfish, cruel or abusive. Eustace, though, is easy to love: an earnest boy on the cusp of teenage whose naïveté is utterly delightful. Gale's descriptive prose is often exquisite: the significant moments in Eustace's



Take Nothing With You

5.0 1


Absolutely one of his complete best. So many funny and tender and terrific scenes. He hovers between social comedy and apocalyptic tragedy without the move appearing artificial or contrived. Just a wonderful, wonderful read -- Stephen Fry
Safe in the arms of Patrick Gale's BEAUTIFUL writing again - I could weep with joy. -- Joanna Cannon
A wonderful, intelligent and enriching novel. Gale draws his protagonist with compassion and empathy, and the book is populated by some terrific supporting characters, such as former star cellist Naomi, who had to give up performing because of stage fright and becomes a surrogate sibling in Eustace's life. Ultimately, it is a forceful reminder of the emotional power of music. As Eustace is told by his teacher at summer school: "Music knits. It heals. It is balm to the soul." The same could be said for this book * i Newspaper *
Sexy, joyous, funny and tender. I relished it -- Sarah Winman
Joyous and full of light. I only meant to read a chapter and I greedily gobbled down the whole lot in one go. He is a beautiful and empathetic writer. -- Cathy Rentzenbrink
A compelling story of how a passion for music can be the gateway to self-discovery, and lead a young teenager to find his tribe. The storytelling is so vivid, you can actually hear the music, and the intense fusion of artistic and erotic exploration will stir up memories for quite a few readers. -- Jonathan Dove, composer
A fascinating story, gripping, moving and exquisitely written, this is a wonderful gift of a book from one of the best writers working today. -- SJ Watson
Very well done indeed - brilliantly sustained -- Rachel Johnson
A tender and touching coming of age story from the always eminently readable Patrick Gale * Red Magazine *
Patrick Gale has created such a wonderful character, I was bereft to leave him * Good Housekeeping *
A compassionate and funny coming-of-age and coming-out novel. If you haven't read Gale before, start now * Woman & Home *
A beautiful novel about longing, growth, music and family * Queen & Country Magazine *
Gale is an enticing and quietly subversive storyteller . . . its depictions of strangeness and toxicity of under-the-surface conventions of middle-class life take it into darker and more surprising territory. In elegant, restrained prose, Gale writes with an eye on impermanence, showing how loss can be tinged with hope, and new beginnings with the threat of mortality. . . he taps into a range of experiences and emotions that are both specific and beautifully universal * Irish Independent *
Gale is excellent on the hot, messy nature of self-discovery and sexual awakening * Daily Mail *
Beguiling, vivid, wise and moving * Attitude Magazine (Book of the Month) *
Beautifully told with understated glee and humanity, this novel raises smiles and shocked tears * Belfast Telegraph *
This coming-of-age story is gorgeously written, full of warmth and humour * Sunday Mirror *
As elegiac and contemplative as one might expect . . .suffused with the joy and wisdom of Gale's mid-life reconnection with music * Guardian *
This is what imbues his work with such heart and authenticity, and what makes Take Nothing With You, so readable, so believable, so . . . lovable. You'll be carried along by the music of Gale's prose, his charm, wit and warmth, and his empathy for us, for what it means to be human and other * Irish Times *
This is an emotionally charged and humane tale beautifully conveying a child's partial view of the world * Daily Express *
There is a natural warmth to Gale's writing * The Times *
A lovely and lyrical coming-of-age tale * Sunday Express *
Patrick Gale's moving novel is a trag-comic tale of love, loss and acceptance * Sun *
This warm and humane novel is not only about love but also the value of art * Sunday Times *
Gale's novel is generously optimistic. It shows how our past shapes us, but suggests that we can make something from the emotional burdens that we bear * Telegraph *
Funny and heartfelt * Spectator *

ISBN: 9781472205346
ISBN-10: 1472205340
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 21st August 2018
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.46
Edition Number: 1