The Special and the Ordinary

By: David Clapham

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“But was music his life? If so, it was because of the man in the red dressing gown, years before, when John was eight years old.”

‘This coming-of- age tale follows childhood friends, John and Martin, from their youth to adulthood as they grow up in the industrial city of Porterfield, Britain, during the post World War II eras of the 1950s and 1960s…John’s “ordinary” persona is shy, intelligent, musically disposed, and exudes a serious approach to establishing himself as a musician…But, on the other end of the spectrum is Martin, whose “special” persona is charismatic, intelligent, precocious and exudes a lax approach to his path in life… While John works diligently to become rooted in the world as a classical musician, Martin easily flits, from being an evangelist to a faith healer to the legal field…

What makes this book worth reading is not that the story moves at breakneck pace, or hosts an intriguing mystery or posits evil lurking in the dark. Instead, it is the winning combination of intelligent context, intriguing characters and the author’s eloquent writing style all of which thoughtfully presents the many elements of the human condition as they occur within the lives of the characters.’

— Lisa Brown-Gilbert, Pacific Book Review

‘Throughout the novel, Clapham ties in the stories of other colorful figures in John’s and Martin’s lives…such as Katherine Clements, an ailing music star whom John accompanies on tour; Tamas Mihaly a Hungarian conductor whom Martin recruits for the [Porterfield] orchestra; and Wesley Johnson, an up-and-coming composer from the West Indies…The author makes a poignant statement about the subjectivity of success: even if one isn’t in the limelight, one may still make a considerable impact in the arts–and on the world.’

— Kirkus Reviews

‘John’s attempts to break into the music world fill the story with beautiful passages on the emotional impact that music has upon us…This lovely coming-of-age story addresses a central theme for many: How do we find satisfaction in our lives?’

— Constance Augusta A. Zaber, Clarion Review

David Clapham grew up in She eld and studied botany at Oxford. After working at the plant breeding station in Aberystwyth, Wales, he moved to Uppsala in 1973. David and his Swedish wife Lena have two children.

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Book Information

“But was music his life? If so, it was because of the man in the red dressing gown, years before, when John was eight years old.”

‘This coming-of- age tale follows childhood friends, John and Martin, from their youth to adulthood as they grow up in the industrial city of Porterfield, Britain, during the post World War II eras of the 1950s and 1960s…John’s “ordinary” persona is shy, intelligent, musically disposed, and exudes a serious approach to establishing himself as a musician…But, on the other end of the spectrum is Martin, whose “special” persona is charismatic, intelligent, precocious and exudes a lax approach to his path in life… While John works diligently to become rooted in the world as a classical musician, Martin easily flits, from being an evangelist to a faith healer to the legal field…

What makes this book worth reading is not that the story moves at breakneck pace, or hosts an intriguing mystery or posits evil lurking in the dark. Instead, it is the winning combination of intelligent context, intriguing characters and the author’s eloquent writing style all of which thoughtfully presents the many elements of the human condition as they occur within the lives of the characters.’

— Lisa Brown-Gilbert, Pacific Book Review

‘Throughout the novel, Clapham ties in the stories of other colorful figures in John’s and Martin’s lives…such as Katherine Clements, an ailing music star whom John accompanies on tour; Tamas Mihaly a Hungarian conductor whom Martin recruits for the [Porterfield] orchestra; and Wesley Johnson, an up-and-coming composer from the West Indies…The author makes a poignant statement about the subjectivity of success: even if one isn’t in the limelight, one may still make a considerable impact in the arts–and on the world.’

— Kirkus Reviews

‘John’s attempts to break into the music world fill the story with beautiful passages on the emotional impact that music has upon us…This lovely coming-of-age story addresses a central theme for many: How do we find satisfaction in our lives?’

— Constance Augusta A. Zaber, Clarion Review

David Clapham grew up in She eld and studied botany at Oxford. After working at the plant breeding station in Aberystwyth, Wales, he moved to Uppsala in 1973. David and his Swedish wife Lena have two children.

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