GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN
'Charlie Hill is 40 years old.
He left school at 16 to work in the fish market.
Since then he has written for the Times Literary Supplement, the Independent on Sunday, the New Statesman, Ambit, Stand magazine and many others.
The Space Between Things is his first novel.'
The Space Between Things
The Space Between Things
£6.99 + P&P
How far would you go to win the love of a woman?
Arch, a wannabe poet living in a bohemian Birmingham suburb, likes to party and has no time for love or seriousness. Then he meets the mysterious Vee. They have a one-night stand and she leaves him the next day with a challenge: throw yourself into the world and its possibilities.
Discovering that Vee has gone to Croatia to photograph the war, Arch begins to expand his horizons. As the government clamps down on road protesters, new age travellers and the free festival scene, he throws himself into the subsequent campaign of civil disobedience. But will it be enough for the returning Vee?
The Space Between Things is a satirical love story set in the social turmoil of the early 1990’s. It is the first fictionalised account of the road protest movement.
Read what novelist Jim Crace had to say about The Space Between Things:
“Every city in Britain has its Moseley, the edgy, arty Birmingham anti-suburb where the studes and crusties come to rent and squat.
Fuelled by skunk, benefit cheques, creative aspirations, and plenty of time on their hands, they try everything, do nothing, and pop out for some lager.
Charlie Hill's intelligent and witty The Space Between Things captures their culture with brutal, unpretentious clarity. His novel charts the years between Moseley’s first rave and the height of the road protests, an age of well-meaning self-indulgence, where the partying never ends but the politics never quite get going. It is, like the suburb itself, playful, unruly and bursting with generous energy.”
“What I like very much about this novel is that it vividly captures a moment in Britain's recent past, and takes us inside a world and a milieu which most readers won't have known before.
And of course, as a tragic love story, it packs a considerable punch.”
THE OBSERVER - SUNDAY 31ST OCTOBER 2010
The Space Between Things. It's a chronicle of the 1990s raver and squatter "drop out" scene, told from the viewpoint of Archie, a young man who thinks he has set out to change the world, but admits: "For all that I have learned about love and politics… there are still the nights when the sacrament of getting off your head is all that counts."
Archie has fallen for Vee, who tells him to "throw yourself into the world and its possibilities" – which for her means doing things like photographing the horrors of a genocide happening "only a few hours' plane ride away" in the former Yugoslavia.
Rich in wry social commentary, but also funny and linguistically dexterous, the novel is sensitive to the genuine aspirations of its characters yet unsparing in exposing their delusions. Hill's style occasionally feels slightly affected, but this is an inventive work that shows much promise.
THE GUARDIAN - 20/11/2010
In squats, pubs and vegetarian cafés, plans are hatched. At outdoor raves and disused depots, pills are popped and beats spun. At Twyford Down, protesters dig tunnels and chain themselves to trees. The Daily Mail is in paroxysms, Michael Howard is in a spin and road-building schemes are foundering: revolution is in the air. That's what it feels like to Arch, as he "gets his charge on", propelled by the optimism of youth, all the intoxicants he can get his hands on and a feeling that might be love.
Hill's affectionate account of the ecstatic energy and radical politics of the early 90s alternative scene sees drop-outs Numpty Frank, Stripe and Pritstick get together in the arty Birmingham suburb of Moseley to a soundtrack of Jeff Mills and the Levellers.
........this engaging debut is not afraid to expose addled thinking and petty squabbles. Crusties can feel like a footnote in youth culture, but Hill suggests they deserve more than that.
THE TIMES - SATURDAY 15th JANUARY 2011
'Arch meets Verity at a party to celebrate the resignation of Margaret Thatcher. He takes her to the house he shares in the raffish Birmingham suburb of Moseley. But this isn’t the usual sort of love story. Arch already has a girlfriend, and the next time he sees “Vee” she’s on the arm of somebody else. Over the next few years Arch continues to pursue the woman of his dreams, against a marvellously observed backdrop of recent history. This accomplished first novel is also a celebration of Moseley itself: bohemian, broad-minded and more than slightly seedy.