Author(s): Nathan Penlington
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As a boy, Nathan Penlington had loved Choose Your Own Adventures, the literary phenomenon of the 1980s which thrust the reader into the role of main character and compelled them to make decisions and direct the flow of the story. So, when he discovered a job lot of the first 106 adventures for sale on eBay, there was never any question that he would place a bid. When the books arrived, he lost himself in the old adventures. Yet, as he flicked through the pages, there was another story being written - for, in the margins of each book, were the scribblings of the little boy who had once owned them, a little boy by the name of Terence John Prendergast. In the margins of the books, Terence wrote jokes, hints for adventurers following the same stories as him - and, more troubling still, intimations of a tormented childhood: of the boys and teachers who had bullied him; of the things he hated about himself and had to improve; of his thoughts of suicide and his desperate need to find friends, be liked, and find somebody - anybody - to confide in. THE BOY IN THE BOOK is Nathan's poignant recreation of the discovery of the fragments of Terence Prendergast's diary, his quest to find the lost boy, and the friendship that resulted from their first meeting. In doing so, Nathan is forced to examine his own childhood - and, as his relationship with Terence deepens, he begins to believe that the two men are not so different, and to reflect on the darkness that can exist in childhood.
Nathan Penlington has solidified his reputation as a poet, performer and writer of great note by performing alongside Stewart Lee, Daniel Kitson, Ricky Gervais and John Cooper Clarke. His most recent show, Uri and Me, toured the United Kingdom to fantastic reviews in 2011, and he is currently promoting his Choose Your Own Documentary show, itself based on the discoveries of THE BOY IN THE BOOK; that show ran at the Southbank Centre.