Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan

 Release Date - June 3, 2021


It's been a while with many start and stop attempts to finish Mayflies. I finally finished it, but I'm not sure it was a book that I clicked with, and that makes it hard to review. I loved the '80s and knew many of the bands and songs mentioned in the book, but I never connected with the characters. 

At the heart of the story is James. He and Tully are best mates who end up going to a punk rock music festival together as teens, doing some of the things teens at that point did. There's plenty of drinking, some drugs, and a passion for music.

That's the part of the book I didn't connect with. The next half, however, is emotional and sad. Thirty years pass, Tully calls James out of the blue with news that impacts James' life forever.

I don't want to give away one of the major turning points as other reviewers have done. James has to make a decision and it's not an easy one to make. From the moment the book switches to this part of the story, I was far more engaged, though it often brought a tear to my eyes.

Did I love Mayflies? I loved parts of it, but I can't see it going onto my keeper shelf. I do think that others may be able to connect more with James and Tully as youth. Had I been able to appreciate them more, it may have been easier to read.


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