Sunday, 1 July 2012

Gents - Warwick Collins

Beg, borrow, or steal a copy of this very short novel (140 pages only), and delight yourself! 

Ezekiel Murphy, a West Indian living in London with his wife, has a new job, as a lavatory attendant.  He joins his boss, Josiah Reynolds, and the other attendant Rastapharian Jason.  The three of them, West Indians all, concentrate on keeping the Gents clean, tidy, smelling sweet, and trying to prevent too much sex happening in the cubicles.  For this is a lavatory with a reputation - a fine place for "cottaging" (quick sex between consenting male adults, no questions asked).

But when the local council says that there have been complaints, they need to stop it altogether, and because they are rather too successful, their jobs may be at risk.  How they deal with this problem, and what happens to them is a short and wonderful journey about the human condition.  They speak the way they would speak at home in Jamaica - but you won't loose your way, the sentences are short, and easy to follow.

Published in 1997, this book needs more readers - now!

And today,12 Feb 2013 - I have sadly to record that Warwick Collins, only in his early 60's, has died so now I insist that you read Warwick's little gem.  He himself thought it a lost classic, and got it republished.  Read it.  Comment please if you loved it (or even if you didn't).  Here's a link to a lovely blog obituary of Warwick Collins: