When I was sixteen, my father went to the moon.
When Michael was sixteen his father left home. He wasn't the first to go. One by one other men in the blue-collar neighbourhood outside Detroit where Michael lives vanish. One props open the door to his shoe store and leaves a note. 'I'm going to the moon,' it reads, 'I took all the cash'.
The wives are left behind, and with few jobs and fewer opportunities they drink, brawl, sleep around, and gradually make new lives knowing their husbands are never coming back. Michael and his friends grow up. They try to get an education, start their first jobs, fall in love and begin to build families of their own. Until one night the restlessness of their fathers blooms in them, threatening to carry them away.
This is a haunting, unforgettable début novel of fathers and sons, and of growing up the hard way. Shot through with magic and brimming with humanity, it is a novel for anyone who has even been left longing.
'Families, heartbreak, political and social comedy - there is little that Dean Bakopoulos doesn't grasp in an articulate, wittily perceptive, and soulful way, before he hands it back to the reader as literary art. Please Don't Come Back from the Moon is an original and brilliant first work of fiction'
'Please Don't Come Back from the Moon is a pitch-perfect debut by a fine young novelist. Dean Bakopoulos makes his indelible mark on the coming-of-age novel'
'Deftly welding magic realism with social satire, Bakopoulos captures the dark side of the working-class dream'
'A delightful debut novel. In it a combination of different ingredients, including raw literary talent and a sprinkling of magical realism, form the kind of story that I suspect people will be talking about in book clubs and sharing with neighbors. . . clever, unusual and exciting'