Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 02 August 2011

Author Suzie Tullett Weaves An All-Too-True Tale Of Middle-Aged Mods Returning To Brighton

The first rule of middle-age is that all you've learnt in the transition from youth to adulthood is about to be cast into the murky depths of stupidity. Therefore, the second rule of middle-age is that the said implosion makes for great reading!

Take one of Suzie Tullett's central characters in her highly entertaining debut novel, Going Underground.

Jonathon is the arcitypal reliable forty-something husband who's about to become a first-time father. He is a man of property, but nagging away at his happy little suburban scene is .. a long held secret. One his wife is determined to unearth.

Suzie said: "It's a very human tale, primarily about a guy (Jonathan) who is forced to return to his past in order to get on with his future and in his case that means returning to the Mod scene that played a heavy part in his youth."



Though Suzie is not a Mod herself, she knows a man who is: "Going Underground is my first novel and its setting was inspired by my observations of the Mod scene, having been married to a Mod for quite some time."

Going Underground opens at a funeral. Jonathon's wife, Tracey, soon shows her true colours as someone who sees her life and expectations as above those of her fellow greying feather-cut mourners.

The funeral itself is for a friend of her husband and his one-time youthful compatriots. They, minus their better halves, feel compelled to give their friend the send off they feel he deserves; scattering his ashes off of the end of Brighton Pier.



So begins an epic journey of misunderstandings, fall-outs and not just a few surfacing home-truths. All this is conveyed with humour and pace from the pen of Suzie.

"It's a fusion of comedy and tragedy that demonstrates how very often one stems from the other, with musical chapters that reflect what's going on either lyrically or in tone, as the protagonists" stories progress (and I use the plural because the reader is also given Jonathan's long suffering wife's point of view, in her desire to uncover his long held secret)."

Ah yes, the musical themed chapters. Seventy-five short 'n' sharp chapters that have many a Mod-scene classic filling your senses as you board the fabled Lambrettas and Vespas as they tear up the tarmac on their way to the South Coast.



"The dated playlist was a conscious decision; I wanted it to represent just how much Jonathan's mindset is stuck in the past.

"And it's only when we get to the epilogue that the song choice jumps on a few years, letting the reader know he has, at last, moved forward in his life – albeit him still having someway to go."


Though it's an all guys nostalgic ride to Brighton, it wouldn't be half the fun to read if it wasn't for the women who are in hot pursuit .. all crammed into a mini (one of them, Jonathon's wife. being 8 ¾ months pregnant).

But there's more, much more, though to spill the beans would be to ruin the readers' main-dish. Going Underground is best served as a whole, and with the mental soundtrack as a side helping.

Suzie concludes: "With regards to my hopes for the book, I just hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

"There's something for everyone – from my descriptions of the comradeship given within the Mod scene, the scooter ride outs and rallies – to the distinctive iconography; as well as the very human story that I've tried to tell, inter-twining both laughter and pathos throughout.

"I also think in the future it would make an ideal film project. It's very visual read from start to finish and in my view, would make for a great Brit Flick adaptation."



Suzie Tullett's debut novel, Going Underground, is available now and can be purchased by CLICKING HERE.


by: Mike Cobley




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Ravi Adelekan & Poundland Foundation

Ravi Adelekan, a nine-year-old boy from Brighton, was one of twelve children and their families who had their wish granted to visit the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone over the weekend. This was thanks to a £30,000 donation from the Poundland Foundation to Make-A-Wish UK.
Credit: Dean Koopman

The Ocean Film Festival World Tour is bringing a new collection of ocean-themed films to Brighton Dome, this autumn. 
Credit Shervin Lainez

Alt-pop duo Cults will play Concorde 2, Brighton, later this year in support of the band's fifth studio album, To The Ghosts.

Heads On, the official charity for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is announcing the launch of Living Histories - an oral history project capturing the life stories of service users and staff with experience of NHS mental health services in Sussex. The charity is seeking volunteers to be trained as oral historians to collect stories across the county.

The first-ever Brighton & Hove performance by one of the most listened-to living pianists in the world today will take place at The Old Market this November.

Immortal Apples, Eternal Eggs  - at Hastings Contemporary -  is a meeting of two of the UK's most significant collections – The Ingram Collection and the David and Indrė Roberts Collection.

Carl Cox is one of the most in demand DJs, multi award winning, with countless club dates and festival appearances every year. 

Born in the Philippines and raised in London, Brighton-bound Beatrice Laus, known as Beabadoobee, has emerged as a British indie icon.

Lighthouse Project Space - Brighton's first ever public, youth-led artspace – opens this month with a programme of public events and activities.

Glyndebourne, in East Sussex, will be opening its gardens again this year for ticketed events on 31st August and 1st September between 11.00am and 4.00 pm. 

A University of Brighton sports scholar, Herculas Pretorius, has been called up to Great Britain's senior men's American football team after success with his university team.
Credit: Mark Senior

Ahead of the award-winning comedy The 39 Steps coming to Theatre Royal Brighton, later this month, Patrick Barlow (Adapted) and Edward Snape (Produced) took time out to give us an insight into the production.

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