Title: Taking Candy from a Dog
Author: Vic Templar
Date: June 2010 2nd printing February 2012
Publisher: Blackheath Books
ISBN: ISBN-10: 1-906099-20-0 / ISBN-13: 978-1-906099-20-6
Taking Candy from a Dog, Vic Templar's 2010 novelised memoir of a 70s childhood and family life.
Here's what he has to say about it...
'It’s Like Taking Candy From A Dog ‘That’s what my uncle Mac used to say whenever he slotted another goal past me (two grown men against a couple of kids). So I used it for the title of my book, which is an account of childhood told, for the most part, by the boy in the 1970s present rather than the adult looking back.
Stories and episodes from the life of a boy are threaded together by the musings of a threadbare sock monkey called Luke. The monkey haunts (or taunts?) the man the boy has become.
Tales of football, picnics, cats, holidays, rabies, ghosts, skeletons, George Best, Father Christmas, punk rock, moth rescue, starling execution, ant holocaust, emu puppets and being winked at by strangers. I have also latterly come to realise that the book is also my apology to the boy I once was for the way I’ve turned out.'
And here's what some esteemed reviewers had to say...
Vic Templar’s Taking Candy From a Dog is the part memoir, part fiction tale of a very ordinary boy, living a very ordinary life in a very ordinary part of Kent, yet it is also one of the most touching and hilarious books you could wish to read about life as a child. It is warm without being cloying and funny without being too knowing. It is a tale of picnics, wasps, summers that last forever, Wimbledon, Fred Perry, the Buzzcocks, Gillingham FC and family life in the 1970s.
Written through the eyes of a frequently bemused and incredulous child/teenager, with the chapters interspersed by the savvy interruptions of a sock monkey, it sounds twee, cheesy and to be avoided but it’s far from it - Taking Candy From A Dog is one of the funniest books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Wonderfully told with keen detail and dry wit, some of the dialogue had tears of laughter streaming down my face.
Mark Raison aka Monkey Picks