Books

Driving Short Distances

Joff Winterhart

Sam is 27 and needs to get a job. Keith, who claims to be a second cousin of his (absent) father, offers him one. On Keith’s card it says he does ‘distribution and delivery’, which seems to consist of ‘a lot of driving around, getting out of the car for a few minutes and then getting back in’, Sam tells his mother. And so the days go by, Keith driving to a trading estate, ducking into a portakabin, all the while telling Sam stories about his first boss, Geoff Crozier, his mentor in distribution and delivery. As the weeks pass, Sam gets to know Keith’s friends, flirty Hazel-Claire from whom they buy two pasties every day at lunchtime, a variety of receptionists, and a few tantalising secrets from Keith’s past…

As in Days of the Bagnold Summer, Joff Winterhart is a master at depicting ordinary life in all its utterly poignant and funny mundanity.

Days of the Bagnold Summer

Joff Winterhart

'When someone looks back and writes a history of this summer, two people they will almost certainly leave out are Sue and Daniel Bagnold...'

So begins Joff Winterhart's sublimely funny and perceptive graphic novel, Days of the Bagnold Summer. Sue, 52, works in a library. Daniel, 15, is still at school. This was the summer holidays Daniel was due to spend with his father and his father's pregnant new wife in Florida. When they cancel his trip, Sue and Daniel face six long weeks together...

Joff Winterhart perfectly captures the ennui, the tension, the pathos and yes, the affection of this mother-son relationship. Already well-known for his animated films like Violet and Turquoise, he here shows himself to be a comics author of extraordinary talent.

Shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Award for Best Novel.

Biography

Joff Winterhart is an illustrator and film-maker and plays drums in his band, Bucky. He lives in Bristol, where he walks his greyhound, Peep-Peep. He is the author of Days of the Bagnold Summer, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Award for Best Novel.