❮Read❯ ➸ The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 ➻ Author J.B. Morrison – Motyourdrive.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81

  1. says:

    When I was in my twenties, I spent a considerable amount of time jumping up and down in fairly mindless fashion to the excitable rock and roll stylings of a beat combo with the tireless moniker Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine or, for the purposes of the BBC censor, Carter USM.There was no other band quite like Carter There were only two of them, for a start a fellow in shorts and a baseball cap who played the guitar and was called Fruitbat, and another fellow called Jim Bob who also played the guitar and sang.They were backed by a fearsome wall of synths and drums, and came along at the same time at least, in my memory as a bunch of other bands who seemed to make one want to jump up and down a lot in old baseball boots, with one s hat on backwards and cheap lager sloshing around in one s belly They were huge, massive, relentless FUN.What made them different to those other bands, though, was the content of their songs E.M.F sang in abstract terms about someone being unbelievable, Jesus Jones had some hand wavy hippy nonsense about how great it was to be alive right now Carter lyricist Jim Bob sang about an altogether down to earth bunch of gypsies, travellers, thieves, grebes, crusties and goths a list which I have mercilessly stolen from Carter s own song, The Only Living Boy In New Cross.Jim Bob s lyrics were filled with pop culture references The Only Living Boy In New Cross features, among others, David Frost, Evita, Simon and Garfunkel, Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones There were puns the Evita reference is fill another suitcase with another haul , which in a song about life at the bottom end of the heap is fabulously on it and there was a good deal of anger about the state of post Thatcherite Britain and its dreary selfishness Perhaps their most famous song, Sheriff Fatman, is an early one from 1989, which rails at slum landlords, including Rachman and, in Jim Bob s own deathless adaptation, Nicholas van Whatsisface.Oh, and they headlined Glastonbury.But I come here not to praise Carter USM, but to bury them Their last ever gig will be this November and I can t go, chizz chizz chizz , and these days Jim Bob is a solo recording artist His last album, What I Think About When I Think Of You, is fantastic and I commend it to you.So Jim Bob hasn t gone But he has begun to change, like Seth Brundle in The Fly, into an altogether disturbing creature a novelist.There have been two novels under Jim Bob s name already Storage Stories and Driving Jarvis Ham I commend them both to you His third, though, is under a new name J.B Morrison I don t know why he changed it Perhaps it s considered grown up But I m delighted to say the novel, The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick Age 81, is full of everything that I loved about Carter and everything I love about Jim Bob, but without the wall of synths and the beer in the belly It s a charming story, beautifully told, about an 81 year old man living on his own and the relationship he develops with the woman who comes to care for him for an hour a week.I couldn t help feeling some sadness reading this my dad died in 2008, and he d be touching on the same age as Frank Derrick by now And Frank s story does have its sad moments and its tiny tragedies But Frank s brain is as sharp as those old Carter lyrics as sardonic and bitter but also as witty and affectionate His hair is too long, and his best mate is an ex punk called Smelly John He loves films and had once planned to build a cinema in his shed His wife Sheila died years ago, lost to dementia and Jim Bob Morrison s use of sea swimming as a metaphor for the loss of Sheila s mind is as fine and terrible a piece of writing as I ve read this year.The novel rescues the elderly for us, paints them as just older versions of ourselves, with the same anchors in shared popular culture and the same wish to be interested, involved, inspired There are no easy answers in Frank s life, and the novel doesn t pretend there are At one point, I thought the novel was going to settle for a bleakly obvious ending, and it does toy with us as if it might But it doesn t It carries on Frank carries on with warmth and acceptance and, ultimately, love It made me realise, actually, that love was what Carter were on about, a lot of the time, too.I put it down, and I phoned my Mum.


  2. says:

    I must say I really liked the sound of this book, and I m going to be honest I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this book when I started it.Frank Derrick is 81 and is run over by a milk float, causing his arm to break and his foot to fracture He had trouble filling the hours in his day when he was active, but now with his injuries he looks set for long weeks of watching DVD s But then Kelly Christmas the home help breezes into his life like a breath of fresh air, and she reminds him that adventure can come to people of all ages I LOVED Frank Derrick his personality was wonderful and after reading I truly wish he was real and that I knew him in real life I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Frank and being able to read about what he go up to I felt SUCH a range of emotions throughout I laughed with Frank, I enjoyed his adventures and most of all he touched my heart I got very emotional and I even had a few tears because I was really moved by Frank.I can t describe what is so great about this book it needs to be experienced to be enjoyed You need to read it to get the atmosphere of it, feel the vibrancy of Frank and go on a truly moving journey with him I REALLY recommend this touching and captivating story.


  3. says:

    The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 is the first book in the Frank Derrick series, and the third novel by British author, J B Morrison aka musician Jim Bob Eighty one year old widower, Frank Derrick has a broken arm And a broken toe A runaway milk float ran over him when he was returning from buying a pint of milk at the local shop, Fullwind Food Wine Because Frank lives alone in very likely the only house with stairs in Fullwind on Sea, his daughter Beth, who lives in America, arranges, quite against his wishes, for a care worker to visit once a week.Frank stages a dirty protest on the day that Kelly Christmas arrives, Frank is dirty several days unwashed, unshaven as are his clothes his house is untidy his sink overflowing with dirty dishes his hall is filled with junk mail his toilet unflushed But Frank soon finds himself embarrassed by this Kelly Christmas is not the unfriendly, bossy matron he is expecting, but a charming young woman who seems to care about him, listens to him and sings as she works Since Sheila died almost ten years ago, after which Beth and his granddaughter, Laura moved to California, Frank s only companion has been a cat named Bill the name seemed less silly when Ben was alive he visits the local shops to buy cat food and tinned spaghetti at the charity shop, he buys ceramic giraffes, hoping a large collection of them might become valuable he goes to the library to email Beth now and then he fends off callers from stair lift companies, window cleaners, gutter clearers, chimney sweeps and roofers and he plays board games with his wheel chair bound friend, Smelly John, in his care home But now, he finds himself preparing for Kelly s visits, and looking forward to them And when they are due to finish, his distress at the thought of doing without them leads him to some behaviour quite out of character for this normally responsible old man There s plenty to love about this novel Frank himself, curmudgeonly at times, but whose dry wit makes his inner monologue an absolute delight his invented Sioux names for neighbours and people he encounters are often hilarious his experience of the Mini Mental State Examination is highly entertaining Frank s desperation to continue Kelly s visits highlights the loneliness that can be the solitary older person s lot, but while the story threatens to turn quite dark, the end is uplifting A heart warming read.


  4. says:

    The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 Quirky funJ.B Morrison, better known as Jim Bob, has written a quirky and fun novel in The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 Everyone who reads this story will recognise someone in Frank Derrick, me Derek across the road who just happens to be 81 has home help and gets taken to, Lidl, Morrisons and a posh shop at Waitrose yes we have them up north.Frank Derrick is 81 and gets run over by a milk float while out buying a pint of milk so his daughter hires him a care nurse while he recovers Like many widowers he is independent, cannot be bothered with the fussy outside world and certainly does not want or need some nurse bossing him about.Kelly Christmas comes in to his life as his care nurse and a breath of fresh air in his life She is the reason why he goes from looking and acting like Compo to an aging English Don Juan in his West Sussex flat So rather than his life being going to the local shop and visiting Smelly John in his care home, Kelly breathes new life in to him She takes him out to the beach and the big Sainsbury s shows that he can live once again instead of waiting in death s waiting room.As the end of his care sessions near Frank tries to raise the money to keep Kelly on, he tries pawning his charity shop buys, cleaning out his shed But he has to admit to himself that he has no money or savings he just is not good with money, it was his later wife who handled the purse strings With Kelly moving on he feels as if his life is going to fall to pieces.This is a funny and quite quirky story that touches your emotions as we all know someone like Frank Frank is nothing special and his life has not been remarkable or been a disaster he was just ordinary like the rest of us I am sure there are many men can see their own traits in Frank, I am fortunate no male in my family lives to their 81 otherwise I am Frank


  5. says:

    Review also posted on my blog Derrick, as I m sure you can work out from the title of the book, is 81 years old and has just been run over by a milk float Seriously.You would imagine, being 81 and injured, there s probably very little you can do and definitely not enough to warrant a near 300 page novel Yet it s Frank Derrick s attitude to life which brings this book its charm and The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 is a witty, moving and wonderful story.Frank is an endearingly brilliant character He was a lonely character and I couldn t help but share his joy upon his Monday morning visits from Kelly Christmas, the home help hired by his daughter I loved seeing his relationship grow with Kelly, in particular their visit to the beach and then Frank s exploits when the twelve week period of her visits was coming to an end.His relationships with Smelly John and the other little star of this book, his cat Bill, were also highlights of the novel for me As was virtually every other moment like Frank s regular trips to the charity shop and the nicknames he gave everyone There really wasn t anything to dislike about this book and it was so well written, from the humorous to the sadder parts.It made me appreciate my family members a whole lot because I wouldn t want to think of any of them becoming lonely like Frank as they grow older The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 was touching, charming, funny and yet sad all at the same time It s a refreshingly told story of an older person s life and a brilliant read.5 5 Book gifted for honest review.


  6. says:

    Well, thank the Lord that that is over I don t usually keep reading a book if I m not enjoying it but something told me that there must be an epic ending to this book as it was so utterly uneventful throughout so the reward must be an awesome ending I was wrong very boring and pointless from beginning to end Apologies to the Author, i m sure other people like it but it did not strike a chord with me I gave it two stars rather than the one I felt it deserved because I laughed out loud once.


  7. says:

    When I was offered the chance of a copy of this book to read and review I ummed and ahhed at first From the write up it sounds a touch ridiculous a bit OTT I love gentle humour but I can t stand farce.However, when I read through a few reviews from people whose judgement I trust and whose tastes I know are similar to mine I thought let s give it go then and I m SO very glad I did, I loved it.Frank Derrick is a very ordinary elderly man, living an ordinary life in an ordinary seaside town He lives alone since his wife died and extra ordinary things just seem to happen to him leaving him even worse off, the accident with a milk float which leaves him unable to manage the simplest everyday tasks in his ordinary life is just typical, he seems to attract the ridiculous and even in this unfortunate accident his dignity is shattered.He could be a real grumpy old man as he has few friends and a dislike of most members of the public he meets calling his neighbours in secret by amusing native American nicknames, but he is really quite utterly charming His best friend Smelly John the infirm ex punk rocker and his cat Bill are really his only companions apart from the steady stream of cold callers and salespeople trying to rip him off But his daughter unable to visit, living as she is in USA sends him a home help and suddenly his life takes on a new dimension, in her short one visit a week Kelly Christmas, home carer, gives him something to look forward to and is a willing, captive audience for his little quips and jokes It s his outlook on life and his refusal to BE an old fart which make his life so amusing and this lovely book an absolute pleasure to read.You have to read this book to appreciate its humour and poignancy yet in many ways I found it unbearably sad It s about old age, loneliness and the importance relatively small kindnesses assume to someone who is alone I so SO wanted something REALLY extraordinary to happen in his life but all the things that do happen are so everyday its only when your life is as EXTRA ordinary as Franks that they assume such huge importance His trips to the charity shop and the supermarket are all written with such tongue in cheek irreverence you can t help but keep turning the pages and even though I rattled through it in a weekend, Frank Derrick 81 will remain in my thoughts for quite some time.My huge thanks to Pan MacMillan and the author J B Morrison for lighting up MY very ordinary life with the smiles and sighs this book provided.


  8. says:

    A fun and very easy read With a story that can also make you think What must it be like to be elderly and lonely So If you have an elderly neighbour, make 5 mins and pop and say hello to them.The book kicks off with Frank getting run over by a milk float, this in itself really tickled me, not that he got run over but the fact it was a milk float Frank is such a likeable character And some of his antics and thoughts are brilliantly funny i m concerned with saying too much here, as I feel it would spoil the book for those of you that have not yet read it.What I will say is give it a go It really is a fun but interesting book.And follow the life of this 81 year old, and all he gets up to.


  9. says:

    Such a wonderful book Both poignantly touching while also laugh out loud funny, I just adored this story.We meet Frank, an 81 year old man who recently got knocked over by a milk float Having broken he s arm, Frank is assigned a carer called Kelly who s weekly visits make a massive impact on Franks life.The book brilliantly delves into how a retired gentleman struggles to fills he s days up with a purpose It tackles the aspects of loneliness exceptionally well.Frank also likes buying old DVDs from the charity, so you get lots of great film nods too.Such a charming book, I m already looking forward to reading the sequel


  10. says:

    A first floor flat with possibly the only steps in the village Tinned spaghetti, junk mail, cold callers, charity shop pens and a cat called Bill Those are the things that make up Frank s life He does venture out to Fullwind Food Wine, where he stocks up on spaghetti and cat food, the local charity shop to add to his collection of china animals and DVDs, and on the bus to the big Sainsburys Frank never actually gets as far as Sainsburys though, he gets off at Greyflick House and visits his friend ex punk and star of the picture postcard Smelly John.Frank is a widower, his wife Sheila died some time ago His only daughter, Beth, lives in America with her husband and daughter Frank s days are long, starting when he hears the first plane of the morning fly over the village, and ending as darkness falls again Frank doesn t do much during the day, although he makes sure that he know what the date is.A nasty incident with a milk float leaves Frank in need of a little extra care Despite his determination that no Robin Williams in a dress is going to start giving him a bath, his world is soon turned upside down by Kelly Christmas Kelly has a very straight fringe, is unable to park her little blue car and somehow gets herself right under his skin In fact Frank doesn t know what he s going to do when he s better, and Kelly will no longer visit And so, Frank embarks on a scheme to raise the funds to pay Kelly himself.The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Aged 81 had me laughing out loud so many times It s one of those books with some great one liners and I found myself reading these out to my husband all the way through the book The novel raises some really interesting questions and also reminded me of things that I ve often pondered myself Why do we assume that everyone in a retirement home wants to listen to 1940s sing a long songs Will we suddenly stop listening to the music we love as middle aged people and turn to the music of our own grandparents As someone who has been to see both The Who and Black Sabbath, live in concert this year, and looked around the audience, and noted the age of the majority of the fans I m hoping that I ll spend my retirement years still blasting out a bit of AC DC and some old school punk.Frank s story is not only very funny, it s touching and warm too J B Morrison has a way with words that draws the reader in so completely, and Frank becomes the centre of your world With characters that are perfectly formed, such as the wonderful Smelly John, and the obnoxious Albert Flowers, this is a moving and uplifting tale that made me laugh and also made me feel a little sad.The cover blurb compares this to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, unlike most people, I really didn t like Harold Fry I found it overly sweet and a little too moral for me Give me Frank Derrick any day he s really my kind of guy.


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