'He gets into the mind of his eleven-year-old, sees the world from the height of three foot six . . . The book is vivid, accurate, perceptive . . . how brilliant - and how honestly - the author makes his original effect.' - The Observer
'An exceptionally talented novelist.' - The Sunday Times
'Remarkable for the deep and unwavering insight it gives into child behaviour . . . the candour of his vision and the cunning of his art are such that he captures the very essence of the eleven-minus mind.' - The Times
Inspired by its author's own childhood experiences, this moving novel is the story of a fateful few weeks in the life of an eleven-year-old boy on a public housing estate. When an eccentric man who is unusually fond of children (they nickname him 'Uncle Mad') moves onto the estate, the wheels of tragedy are set in motion, a tragedy made especially poignant because we experience it through the eyes of the young narrator, who is incapable of fully understanding the significance of the terrible events unfolding around him . . .
Although Keith Waterhouse (1929-2009) is best known for his classic comic novel Billy Liar (1959), many critics believe his first novel, There is a Happy Land (1957), is his best. This edition is the first ever published in the United States and includes a new introduction by Bill Hagerty and the original jacket art by William Belcher.