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If I Never

Gary William Murning

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Legend Press Ltd

Published : 2009

Copyright : Gary William Murning 2009

ISBN-10 : PB 1-906558-14-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-906558-14-7

Publisher's Write-Up

Price is used to living within the shadow of threatening friend George - forever in the fear that not to follow his lead with will end with a beating. However, new developments mean his life finally seems to be moving from the dormant and gaining some positive development. Before long, though, George is back and Price finds himself following his friend once more. But this time it is different - secrets are discovered, decisions are to be made and life and perspective will never be the same again.

If I Never is a novel about asking questions but being unsure if you want to know the answers.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (300611) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Rating 7/10
If I Never by Gary William Murning is one of those books that flits from genre to genre. It is both a touching love story, a story about childhood friendship that is maintained when it should have been abandoned, of crime and actions that go back years, of lives that could have been different, but are not.

The book’s central character is Price, down on his luck, suffering from Amnosmia (a lack of a sense of smell) he lands a job working as a Gardener’s assistant. His new boss, Tony, is living with Claudia, a once respected lawyer, who following a car accident is now confined to a wheelchair, and can only communicate through movement. Price’s oldest friend is George, a bully who is not the thug he believes himself to be.

They have maintained a friendship of sorts out of habit, but George has a way about him, and Price is easily led astray. George does not come from a good background. His mother is an embarrassing drunk who lost a leg saving George when he ran across a road as a child. She had a relationship years before with a man who sexually molested George, and as a child George wanted revenge, and arrangements were made, but the wrong man is killed.

To add to Price’s difficulties he falls in love with Tara, George’s cousin, who is unlucky in love, due to an embarrassing problem of excessive sweating. It would appear she and Price are perfect for each other, even though George does his best to halt the budding relationship.

George wants to go on a wild goose chase, and meet up with Sharon, a girl that he knew in his youth. His first love, who he confided about his attack in. She has three brothers from the criminal fraternity who George believes will kill his attacker, particularly when the family leave town 3 days later, and are never seen again.

George has come into contact with the brothers again. He has been dealing drugs on their patch, and owes them £5,000. Unbeknown to George though, he and Sharon have a son, Richard, who has learning difficulties.

There are touching elements of writing where George realises his responsibilities to both Richard and Sharon, and becomes a better man than his circumstances would normally have allowed for. The book is 400 pages long, and I felt that a bit of pruning would have helped the story along. Too much is made of the constant re-assuring of both Price and Tara, and although it shows a real life, and realistic love story for two people falling in love in their thirties, it does sometimes get in the way of the story-line.

The ending is not really gritty enough to allow this to be seen as a Crime Story, and there is very little in the way of real danger, none of Sharon’s Brothers are drawn in a way that shows Price, Tara and Sharon should be fearful for their lives. This is a good book, it is well written, and is a harmless way to pass a few hours, but it falls between too many stools to really stay in the memory.
Ben Macnair (30th June 2011)

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