- Winner 2010 Somerset Maugham Award
- Short-listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize
Set in Carlisle in 1986, on the last day of the summer holidays, Talk of the Town is the exhilarating and terrifying story of Christopher Hearsey’s search for his best friend, Arthur.
‘A fierce cry of talent, raw as a confession and tender as a poem. Polley’s language is mercurial, his humour quick and surprising. A moving and unmissable debut.’ Chris Cleave (author of The Other Hand/Little Bee and Incendiary)
‘Polley unflinchingly patrols the moral borders – and boredom – at which vulnerable young minds might be tipped into violence…Talk of the Town is about youngsters testing emotional, geographical and temporal limits, dramatically involved in events which unfold in the eerie space between days. Polley’s beguiling prose style tests the limits of language, blending lyricism with brutality; juxtaposing tenderness with vicious criminality’ (Anita Sethi in the Independent on Sunday)
‘It is one of the many achievements of Talk of the Town that, as we read, we hope he will emerge, if not physically unscathed, then at least not so emotionally damaged that he sinks permanently into the grim rictus of cool.’ more… (The Guardian)
Jacob reads a passage from Talk of the Town here.
Jacob talks about writing Talk of the Town here.