O My Days
BILLY ALFRETH IS SERVING FIVE YEARS as an inmate at Dellacotte Young Offenders Institute, in the north of England. Billy has memories of being attacked by three men, but CCTV footage doesn’t bear out his account and he is locked up for stabbing one man. Billy’s world overlaps with that of Ronald Dott, a serial rapist, who claims to know Billy from when he was a child, only that is impossible. And then there is Kate Thistle, ostensibly at Dellacotte to study prison slang, but inordinately interested in both Dott and Billy. As strange events occur and his reality begins to unravel, Billy learns of the Oasis, and a prison ship, and of a desert town called Hospital, where time works in mysterious ways. Dott tells Billy of their terrible entwined histories... whether or not Billy wants to be convinced of what he cannot understand.
“I experienced an acute, often surreal, sense of an offender’s pathology, with all its traps, humour and contradictions. O My Days is a tour de force of powerful writing. It’s demanding, gruelling yet always honest, insightful and finally moving. It explores areas that serious fiction rarely travels to. A quite remarkable novel.”
-Alan Price, author of Outfoxing Hyenas
“This is a writer who has been there, viewed with compassion, and reported back. There is a new mythos here, something that feels ancient and sand-blasted and unfathomable, but it is revealed within the most modern of contexts. Highly recommended.”
-Paul Meloy, author of Islington Crocodiles