The Homeless Heart-throb
By Crystal Jeans
How funny! How dysfunctional. This is what it really means to be British, she thought. Everybody separate behind their walls and everybody drinking…
Dennis has been carrying a torch for Gareth Moon since school; Sez conducts a psychological experiment with himself and two jam-jars the subjects; Estela spends sultry summer afternoons observing her neighbours over the fence; Hatima searches for an errant octogenarian in the local hostelries… Each of them encounters Monsterberry Crush, the local vagrant, until snapshot by snapshot his story is told.
Set in various homes, streets, parks and a nearby residence for the demented elderly, The Homeless Heart-throb is a journey into contemporary Wales lit up with the full gamut of human relationships: platonic, romantic and sexual.
Winner of Wales Book of the Year Award Fiction (2018) with Light Switches Are My Kryptonite
Shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2017 with The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise
Praise for the novels of Crystal Jeans
"In Sylvester, Crystal Jeans has created a character as evocative and alluring as her own name. Her book is an amazing piece of literary ventriloquism; convincing, moving, funny, flawlessly sustained, and utterly compelling."
"With a literary voice as distinctive as her name, this Cardiff writer blew away the judging panel… I’d never read anything
quite like Light Switches Are My Kryptonite..."
Carolyn Hitt, Wales Online
"Think Caitlin Moran in Gabalfa, Cardiff – dysfunctionality made humorous and page-turningly entertaining and moving."
Professor Tony Curtis
"[Crystal] writes with reckless honesty that raises eyebrows, goosebumps, and belly laughs."
"A sweary, sexy, thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining tale set in a Welsh town. "
Liz Robinson, LoveReading
"...this is the epitome of quirky novels... it’s not always nice, but it is truthful... A different sort of read for the different sort of reader"
The Caffeinated Reader
"This has to be one of the more unique reads I’ve had... full of human interactions in all their glory, eccentric, emotional, completely dysfunctional, grim, gritty and so very funny…..so real and utterly compelling, this will stay with me for a long time."
"... orginal, fresh, challenging and has a very distinctive voice. Without a doubt, I would recommend this book to everyone... the writing is so sharp, extraordinary and eccentric in places... it challenged me as a reader, entertained me and made me realise that my city and yours can inspire collective stories of immense strength."
Books Are My Cwtches
"Jeans has more heart than Bukowski and Welsh, and her style is both more sophisticated and more efficient, has more tenderness and more sting… "
Ed Garland, New Welsh Review
"Crystal Jeans has woven a tapestry of private lives, told with a bravery unknown by most writers and readers. And yet here it is: stark, funny, and thrillingly successful. It is a colourful mix of tales both surprising and familiar, a community of characters moving of their own accord through different decades, relationships and south-Wales streets. The book hops teasingly from one voice to the next with an ease that makes reading 'The Homeless Heart-throb' an addictive pleasure."
Kathryn Tann, www.gwales.com
Categories: Fiction, Novels
First Published by Honno: 1st August 2019