Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 02 August 2011

Author Suzie Tullett Weaves An All-Too-True Tale Of Middle-Aged Mods Returning To Brighton

The first rule of middle-age is that all you've learnt in the transition from youth to adulthood is about to be cast into the murky depths of stupidity. Therefore, the second rule of middle-age is that the said implosion makes for great reading!

Take one of Suzie Tullett's central characters in her highly entertaining debut novel, Going Underground.

Jonathon is the arcitypal reliable forty-something husband who's about to become a first-time father. He is a man of property, but nagging away at his happy little suburban scene is .. a long held secret. One his wife is determined to unearth.

Suzie said: "It's a very human tale, primarily about a guy (Jonathan) who is forced to return to his past in order to get on with his future and in his case that means returning to the Mod scene that played a heavy part in his youth."



Though Suzie is not a Mod herself, she knows a man who is: "Going Underground is my first novel and its setting was inspired by my observations of the Mod scene, having been married to a Mod for quite some time."

Going Underground opens at a funeral. Jonathon's wife, Tracey, soon shows her true colours as someone who sees her life and expectations as above those of her fellow greying feather-cut mourners.

The funeral itself is for a friend of her husband and his one-time youthful compatriots. They, minus their better halves, feel compelled to give their friend the send off they feel he deserves; scattering his ashes off of the end of Brighton Pier.



So begins an epic journey of misunderstandings, fall-outs and not just a few surfacing home-truths. All this is conveyed with humour and pace from the pen of Suzie.

"It's a fusion of comedy and tragedy that demonstrates how very often one stems from the other, with musical chapters that reflect what's going on either lyrically or in tone, as the protagonists" stories progress (and I use the plural because the reader is also given Jonathan's long suffering wife's point of view, in her desire to uncover his long held secret)."

Ah yes, the musical themed chapters. Seventy-five short 'n' sharp chapters that have many a Mod-scene classic filling your senses as you board the fabled Lambrettas and Vespas as they tear up the tarmac on their way to the South Coast.



"The dated playlist was a conscious decision; I wanted it to represent just how much Jonathan's mindset is stuck in the past.

"And it's only when we get to the epilogue that the song choice jumps on a few years, letting the reader know he has, at last, moved forward in his life – albeit him still having someway to go."


Though it's an all guys nostalgic ride to Brighton, it wouldn't be half the fun to read if it wasn't for the women who are in hot pursuit .. all crammed into a mini (one of them, Jonathon's wife. being 8 ¾ months pregnant).

But there's more, much more, though to spill the beans would be to ruin the readers' main-dish. Going Underground is best served as a whole, and with the mental soundtrack as a side helping.

Suzie concludes: "With regards to my hopes for the book, I just hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

"There's something for everyone – from my descriptions of the comradeship given within the Mod scene, the scooter ride outs and rallies – to the distinctive iconography; as well as the very human story that I've tried to tell, inter-twining both laughter and pathos throughout.

"I also think in the future it would make an ideal film project. It's very visual read from start to finish and in my view, would make for a great Brit Flick adaptation."



Suzie Tullett's debut novel, Going Underground, is available now and can be purchased by CLICKING HERE.


by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Travis Pastrana and his Nitro Circus are already eyeing up their 2018 You Got This European Tour – kicking off in November. And this time around, the stunts will be bigger, the ramps will be larger, and the stakes will be much, much higher.

As a member of one of the UK's leading acting dynasties, Laurence Fox is best known for playing DS James Hathaway in Lewis
Jon Ronson by Emli Bendixen

Writer, broadcaster and one-time keyboard player for Frank Sidebottom, Jon Ronson has spent a substantial chunk of the last decade thinking about psychopaths and, following an earlier tour, he's taking the results of that work back on the road this Autumn. 
Pic by Toby Smedley

Veteran Brighton-based actor Ian Kelsey will explode back on to our small screens this week, reigniting his acquaintance with Coronation Street bad boy Pat Phelan, in a storyline Kelsey refers to as ‘quite dramatic’.
Jon Richardson (c) Andy Hollingworth

The stand-up Jon Richardson is chatting from a rather unusual location. He reveals that,“I'm currently in the Aldi car park in Clevedon.” Who said that the life of a comedian isn't non-stop glamour?

Years before Justin Currie was writing top ten albums with Del Amitri, he was enjoying a musical awakening courtesy of some of the biggest bands in history. And in his typical self-depreciating style, Currie admits there were one or two less fashionable favourites along the way too.

Photoworks led Into the Outside: is a Heritage Lottery Fund learning project with young people, examining Brighton & Hove's LGBTQ+ past and creating a new archive of queer youth experience for the city and beyond.

Direct from an extended season in London's West End, Bill  Kenwright's production of Alan Ayckbourn's farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, How the Other Half Loves comes to Theatre Royal Brighton, next month.

A group of Hanover residents are making a bid to save their award-winning pub, The Greys, from closing down and are appealing to the people of Brighton & Hove to raise £400,000 by the end of December to keep the doors open.

Greg Davies has a comedic face. No disrespect, but he only has to glance at a camera and people wet themselves. He's also an imposing figure, standing at 6 ft 8 in tall in his size 13 shoes. But can he cut it live? Stephanie Keane was at The Brighton Centre to find out ..

While flowing from the same, molten core of melody, songwriting style and self-belief, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' new album, Who Built The Moon? alters the singer-songwriter’s course following a two-year creative collaboration with renowned producer, DJ & composer, David Holmes. 

Paloma Faith – one of only two British female artists this decade to have their last three albums go double platinum in the UK – will release her fourth album, The Architect, this autumn.
Image by Sam Stephenson

A topical new youth opera exploring the experiences of young people forced by war to flee their homes has its world premiere at Glyndebourne, later this autumn.

Louise Redknapp rose to fame as a member of the girl group Eternal. She left the band to carve out a successful solo career achieving sales of over five million records with five albums.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd