An Accident Waiting to Happen by Adrian WhiteWednesday 30 Jun 2004
Penguin Ireland, €14.99
Originally from Manchester but now based in Galway, Easons buyer Adrian White has made the move from book-selling to writing with his debut novel 'An Accident Waiting to Happen'. 25-year-old Gregory is an aspiring writer going nowhere fast. When his partner Caitlin unexpectedly disappears from their Manchester council flat, leaving him with her small son Tomas, he's left to muddle through on his own.
Besieged by the police and social services, he tries to keep things as normal as possible for Tomas, tries to retain custody of the boy when his threatening natural father shows up and he desperately tries to figure out what has happened to Caitlin. Gregory has to learn from past mistakes, take control of his life and finally grow up.
Although Gregory initially reminds the reader of Nick Hornby and Tony Parsons' introspective males, 'An Accident Waiting to Happen' is a darker and more involved tale of one man's struggle for maturity and coping skills in the face of uncertainty.
White's premise - the way in which arbitrary or accidental events can change the course of a person's life - doesn't entirely follow through but as Gregory finds the resources within himself to stand up to events and tries to shape his own destiny it's difficult not to become involved.
'An Accident Waiting to Happen' is a promising debut that bodes well for White's future in the book-writing trade.