Michael Elcock's fictionalised memoir, Eyes of Rain and Ragged Dreams, is a rich coming-of-age work set in Edinburgh, Scotland in the 1960's. Told with an entertaining blend of humour and vivid observation, the story shows youth pulled in different ways by a rigid educational system and the burgeoning freedom of the times. Dunphy, the son of a diplomat, and Grimmett, who comes from a broken home, develop an unlikely friendship at a top private school. Dunphy and Grimmett are set up by absent and naive parents in a flat above a brothel. Their adventures take them from poaching trout to gambling dens and a brush with the law. Two of their friends die through suicide, and as an indirect result of one of those deaths, Grimmett begins to learn about love.
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