Something very unpleasant is lurking behind the safe suburban facade of this story, and it can be hard going at times. The narrative switches abruptly between characters, sometimes mid sentence, which sometimes left me disorientated. There are moments of black humour, including the dinner party from hell, and some lovely description evoking the world of childhood. Overall, though, this journey from 50s suburbia to the seedy side of swinging London is not one for the faint of heart.
He was very sweet, though - my little Clifford. So sweet and innocent. I hope he's always like that, my little boy. Because it doesn't last forever, does it? This stage. How much longer will I be swapping his little toothypegs for sixpences? How many more Christmases will I fill up his stocking with all those little surprises from Santa? You make sure you stay all sweet and safe and innocent, little Clifford, my little boy. Don't you be in a hurry to grow up, like a lot of the young people nowadays. Because childhood, you know - it's a fleeting thing. And then look what happens.