“The reason we came here- to university- wasn’t to avoid the rest of the world; it was to explore it.”
In Non Pratt’s witty and heartfelt fourth novel, ‘Giant Days’, the reader adopts the position of the explorer as three students catapulted into Sheffield University come to terms with their surroundings and blooming friendships.
Based on the successful comic book series from BOOM! Studios, ‘Giant Days’ encapsulates their sense of humour through Non Pratt’s amusing twenty-first century dialogue and electric imagery. When describing one of the students, Pratt claims that he has “the personality of a cinnamon roll and the spine of partially cooked spaghetti”. It is clear that Non Pratt enjoys the appetising pleasures of life.
The novel not only evokes a smirk on the readers face but also deals poignantly with the struggles of being at university for the first time. Any fresher would understand the hardships that come with that roller coaster of the first September, being chucked into a world full of young and buzzing bodies.
deals poignantly with the struggles of being at university for the first time
Suddenly, one is in a bubble where millions of names are bounced around and they feel that the tentacles of dementia have possessed them, as they struggle to remember everyone’s names. In ‘Giant Days’ people initially refer to each other as the “Vampire princess” and “Gothy the Hottie”, a perfect alternative when one is stuck remembering their actual name.
Dementia aside, the pains of homesickness is also drawn upon. The main three protagonists, Daisy, Susan and Esther experience a longing for home each in a different way. For Daisy, it is the calls from her Grandmother that create an urgent longing to be in a warm home environment. However, for each of the girls, the umbilical chord that attaches them metaphorically to their home soon loosens as they begin to feel more settled at Sheffield.
The novel also explores many different subcultures. Through the character of Esther we learn what it is like to be viewed as a goth:
“The way of the goth was a dark and lonely path, one only trodden by those driven from a heartless society, united by a love of obscure music, the allure of the grave” By contrast, Daisy is a lover of nature and yoga. However, it is Daisy’s pure innocence, Esther’s dark humour and Susan’s sardonic wit that unites them.
If one is feeling like a light read this summer then grab ‘Giant Days’ on its release date on the twenty- first of August. It will provide a whirlwind of wit and poignancy that will make one see how valuable their friendships are. However, before delving into the book, be sure to watch ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’, in which Lily James, like the characters in ‘Giant Days’ makes a public declaration of love to her friends on her graduation day.