Down The Tubes

Down The Tubes

by Kate Rigby


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A hard-hitting novel based on my experience of working in the field of addictionsIt's the late 1980s and mother of four, Cheryl West, lands herself a job at a drugs project in London. But memories of her old life are never far away, especially when her surly daughter, Elaine, makes her unwelcome visits. Meanwhile, Cheryl's estranged son, Michael aka Dodo - is ironically having his life destroyed by drug addiction in his attempt to avoid painful memories of abuse. He goes from one chaotic situation to another, ending up on the streets and reaching rock bottom, until he is referred to a drug rehabilitation centre in rural Hampshire where dark family secrets are uncovered.They're each on a journey, but can there be reconciliation as well as rehabilitation?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781495422492
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/27/2015
Pages: 158
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in Devon. She's been writing for over thirty years, with a few small successes along the way.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was published in 2010.

However, she's not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point(2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev's avant garde magazine Texts' Bones including a version of her satirical novella Lost The Plot.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011)

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She is gradually in the process of re-Kindling her backlist of previously published as well as unpublished work including:

Suckers n Scallies (formerly Sucka!)
Down The Tubes
She Looks Pale
Tales By Kindlelight (a collection of short stories, many of them previously published or shortlisted in short story competitions)
Far Cry From The Turquoise Room
Savage To Savvy - (ABNA Quarter-Finalist 2012)

More information can be found at her website:

Or her occasional blog:

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Down The Tubes 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Claire Saul More than 1 year ago
In her own mind Cheryl West tried really hard to be a good wife and mother, but it just didn’t work out. For Cheryl there was always something missing and when her children (Elaine, Michael, Stephen and little Juliet) grew beyond the baby years, they lost their appeal and maybe her husband and then her boyfriend never had much appeal. But now she wants to be a different woman, a woman with a career and that takes her back to London leaving a family behind in Bournemouth. She becomes a worker in a drugs unit and there she experiences a side to life that is new to her as she speaks with clients and visits their homes. The reality of the decisions that they have made and the impact they have had upon others forces her to evaluate some of the decisions that she has made. This is coupled with the unwelcome visits paid to her by eldest daughter Elaine who only serves as a reminder of the life that she would like to forget. The second family member who is key in this storyline is son Michael, who has had no contact with his mother, Cheryl, or other family members since walking out when just 16 years old. Whilst Michael is mentioned regularly in Cheryl’s story, mainly for the lack of contact and wondering what has become of him, the individual family members are mentioned rarely in Michael’s story. Ironically Michael’s life has also revolved around drugs as he has become an addict in his attempts to rid himself of memories of family life. The mother and son “miss” each other by minutes in what could have been a chance meeting during a support worker visit from Cheryl to a client whilst in London. Their paths seem destined to cross again when Cheryl takes a new post in a rural drug rehabilitation unit in Hampshire where Michael has previously been a patient. Whilst Michael is trying to come to terms with the past in order to move on with a new chapter in his life, Cheryl finds some case notes that uncover secrets from that past life that she cannot accept. I cannot sit here and yell from the roof tops that this book is an easy, enjoyable read because it is not. But this is not a criticism. Dysfunctional families and drug addiction should not be easy topics to write about or read about. The feelings of discomfort and at times disgust that the reader feels are testament to the powerful writing of Kate Rigby. She writes a novel that uses language and scene setting that is not only gritty and realistic, but also shows the soft under belly of the human psyche and the fragility of life. It is difficult to like Cheryl at times. She appears self centred and completely at odds with being a mother of four, yet she has her own addiction and that is to babies. The descriptions of her feelings towards tiny babies are quite unnerving, but even more upsetting are how she views her own infants as they start to grow. How much of the family’s past issues have been a direct consequence of Cheryl’s actions? Even her response to certain actions by her husband (no spoilers!) has probably had a huge impact on certain family members. Her chosen career as a drugs rehabilitation support worker seems completely at odds with her character and some of the thoughts that she has and her actions demonstrate her to be ill suited to the job. Yet she skilfully manipulates her colleagues in both London and Hampshire to believe that she
MillyTant More than 1 year ago
This is a gritty book from the UK circa late 1980s about the world of substance abuse and family dysfunction. Dark secrets are gradually revealed as mother and son are on their own separate journeys, escaping an unpalatable past. But will their paths cross? The story is compelling even if the subject matter - child abuse, drug abuse and homelessness are not for the faint-hearted.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Fascinating Story Rigby pens a grandly dramatic story with Down the Tubes. Rigby focuses her storytelling on drug addiction. She writes with a detail that brings the destruction of drugs and abuse to the story. She not only gives us characters that are addicted to drugs but also how it affects the lives of everyone around them. The strength and weaknesses of the characters filled with flaws and just trying to live life and survive, leapt off the pages. This story of Rigby was hard-hitting, gritty and raw, and it was a fascinating read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate to read and find it so bad that I think it will bet better. It didn't. What a waste. No wonder it was free