Mayflies, by Andrew O'Hagan (Faber 2020)

Neil's picture

This novel has two distinct and very different parts, the first in the summer of 1986, two friends from a small Scottish town head to Manchester to attend a music festival featuring the big bands of the time: Jesus and Mary Chain, New Order, The Smiths, The Fall, Magazine. O'Hagan captures the energy and optimism of this group of young men, at the climax of their youth at a magical time in history. We then jump forward to 2017. Life is different now, overhung with the shadow of death. This is a hugely powerful novel, real, wise, poetic and human, evocative of the time, the music, friendship, rebellion.