Wednesday 10 August 2022

Cold Fish Soup by Adam Farrer BLOG TOUR #ColdFishSoup @AdamJFarrer @SarabandBooks @RandomTTours #BookExtract


Before Adam Farrer’s family relocated to Withernsea in 1992, he’d never heard of the Holderness coast. The move represented one thing to Adam: a chance to leave the insecurities of early adolescence behind. And he could do that anywhere. What he didn’t know was how much he’d grow to love the quirks and people of this faded Yorkshire resort, in spite of its dilapidated attractions and retreating clifftops.

While Adam documents the minutiae of small-town life, he lays bare experiences that are universal. His insights on family, friendship, male mental health and suicide are revealed in stories of reinvention, rapacious seagulls, interdimensional werewolves, burlesque dancing pensioners, and his compulsion towards the sea.

Cold Fish Soup is an affectionate look at a place and its inhabitants, and the ways in which they can shape and influence someone, especially of an impressionable age. Adam’s account explores what it means to love and be shaped by a place that is under threat, and the hope – and hilarity – that can be found in community.


Cold Fish Soup by Adam Farrer was published on 4 August 2022 by Saraband Books. I'm delighted to share an extract from the book today, as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

Extract from Cold Fish Soup by Adam Farrer

My phone rang, cutting out the music on my headphones. It was my mother.

‘Are you okay?’ she asked. ‘You’ve been gone for hours.’

She sounded concerned, as if she was preparing to grab her coat and perform an intervention. This would have been an overreaction had it not been Christmas. If someone disappears at Christmas time it’s never for a good reason. At best, they’ve left the house in a panic to source a last minute, terrible gift. At worst, or close to it, they are standing on the edge of a cliff and contemplating their next move, like I was.

The coastline in my hometown of Withernsea is fragile and perilous, built of soft, vulnerable clay. Each day the waves collide with the cliff face and drag a little more of it into the sea. Several feet of these cliffs are lost in this way each year, making them the perfect suicide spot for the idle. I knew that if I stood there for long enough, I wouldn’t have even needed to summon the energy to throw myself off them. Just give it enough time and the ground would have made the decision for me, disappearing beneath my feet like a supervillain’s trapdoor.

‘I’m fine,’ I told her. ‘I’m heading back now. Millie just wanted a long walk.’

Millie is my aged dog, who strained at her lead while I spoke, desperate to peer over the edge and sniff at the unknown below. When I’d adopted her a few months earlier, it had been pre- dicted that she wouldn’t make it to Christmas. Yet here she still was, wobbling onward. The image of me with Millie seemed to calm my mother down. Because really, who kills themselves with their dog? Especially a tragic one. But I found myself pic- turing it all the same. Toying with the image of me hopping off the cliff, my body descending, my hand raised above my head as I gripped Millie’s lead. A Victorian aeronaut attempting to take flight by holding on to a dog-shaped balloon. I shuddered. From the thought, the cold weather and the tiny compulsion in me that was telling me to do it. 


Adam Farrer is a writer and editor who has performed at festivals and events including Manchester Literature Festival and the Northern Lights Writers Conference. 

His work has been published in the anthology Test Signal and he edits the creative non-fiction journal The Real Story, as well as teaching writing workshops. 

Cold Fish Soup is his first book. 

Adam Farrer has previously been a photo lab technician, a kitchen porter, the voice of an automated phone system, an illustrator, ceramicist, musician, music journalist, and he currently works at the University of Salford. 

Twitter @AdamJFarrer

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