This is a review by Wendy O'Hanlon in "Acres Australia" (Qld).
This is a fictional journey into madness. Beginning in Melbourne in the 1960's, Nicholas Walpole is a fairly typical seven-year-old who dreams of being a rock star, sings into a hairbrush and cranks up the family's record player whenever he gets the chance.
He discovers David Bowie and the weird world of Ziggy Stardust at the age of 12.
Walpole becomes a fairly typical teenager and young adult. He dabbles in an art and design course but drops out. He tries a teaching degree but drops out. He lives with mates in an inner-city flat above "cool" Lygon Street, discovers drugs, forms a band and has a number of romances.
His story is set against a backdrop of an era which many of us remember well - the bands of the 70s and 80s, Countdown, Australasia Post magazine, Australia's famous America's Cup win - and dreams of a starry future. It was a buzzy time - especially in the bigger cities such as Melbourne.
But Walpole never quite moves on or grows up. His friends drift away, get jobs, get married. Meanwhile Walpole is chasing two dreams - to be a cartoonist and to be a rockstar.
This book would be a trip down memory lane for many readers who were born in the 60s. We had big dreams, we had the freedom as young adults to share new experiences,meet new people,walk in new circles. Of course we did lose some friends along the way. They just drifted in a kind-of time warp. But most of us grew up into fairly typical adults with marriages and mortgages. This is a well-written account of a typical kid who missed the rocket to fame and became a "falling star".