Liz Currently Loves….The Radio by Jonathan Lee



So, when the lovely Mr Lee contacted me and offered me the chance to read his book “The Radio”, although it was out of my immediate comfort zone I thought it looked kind of interesting so I accepted with thanks and gave it a go. And I loved it. Funny, insightful and a great read, with some sequels to come, this is definitely one I would recommend. I caught up with Jonathan and asked him a few highly intelligent (ok, well, things I wanted to know anyway!) questions and here is what he had to say.


George Poppleton is a wonderful character? Is there any part of you in him or was he based on someone you know?

Thank you.  George is an amalgamation of three different people that I have met throughout my life. Although George is around twenty years my senior, there is a good proportion of me in him, albeit an exaggerated version of me. I do think that George really only wants to do what’s right for everyone having spent his lifetime putting himself last.


Which Character from “The Radio” was the most fun to write?

It’s interesting because all the characters have elements of people I have met. Its a difficult question to answer because some of the characters are not necessarily fun, but their some of their traits gave me the most enjoyment in translating their characters to the written word. For pure fun, it would have to be David, or the inimitable Auntie Lesley.
Where did the idea to use a Radio to kick start such a wonderful story come from?

Without giving too much away and spoiling the story, I wanted to be able to use the radio as a way of escape for somebody who has issues that they have yet to deal with properly. There is a good proportion of The Radio which echo my own real life experiences and the use of the radio fitted perfectly with that.
Can you tell us anything about your next project?

The Radio is a a trilogy and as such the ending leaves enough open for people to want to know more of what happens to George and the rest of the Poppletons. At the moment however, I am writing The Page, a thriller and another with a twist.  The story goes…
Following a tragic car accident, Michael Sewell is alone and lost for the first time. The loss of his wife, Margaret after thirty years of marriage has left a hole far greater than Michael could have imagined.
Persuaded to go on holiday alone for the first time since this accident, by his daughter Jane, a page blown from a book crosses the pool and sticks to his chest.
The words from the page resonate with Michael, describing in detail the recent events in his own life.
Now, Michael must delve into his past and face his future, taking him and his family on a horrifying and tragic journey toward the truth.

Do you have a favourite genre that you read in?

Generally I would read contemporary fiction. I love Mark Haddon, Iain Banks and Nick Hornby. Every day stories appeal to me, stories that could actually happen. My all time favourite book is Roald Dahl’s unexpected tales and I have a minor obsession with stories that have a twist in the tale. I also have a keen interest in miscarriages of justice and read a lot of true crime. At present I am reading A M Homes’ magnificent May We Be Forgiven.

Dogs or Cats?

Cats. I am not a huge animal fan, but my kids harangued me into keeping a kitten from a litter born to a family member. So now we have Cate (namely simply after cat with an ‘e’ on the end).

If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be?

That’s a difficult one.  I’ve travelled extensively and loved New Zealand and Canada. However, I suppose the answer would be simply wherever my children and loved ones are, so for now I suppose the answer is Yorkshire!

Thank you so much and I look forward to the rest of the Poppleton story!

So we come to “The Radio” perhaps a book I wouldnt normally pick up but it was wonderful. Thank you so much to Mr Lee!

Meet George Poppleton. Henpecked husband and father and one of the most loveable characters you are ever likely to meet,one day he finds an old transister radio in his loft. As it becomes a bit of an obsession, we learn about his life, whilst in the background daughter Sam and Wife Sheila plan a wedding….

This book made me laugh so much, I’m glad I didnt have stitches anywhere because I would surely have been on the way to the hospital….equally it was in places terribly sad and poignant as we learn about the loss George has suffered. A real snapshot of family life but with an eye to the ironic, it was perfect reading. Black humour pervades the pages, you may inappropriately giggle at times but as George moves ever further away from reality and things go wrong you will not want to stop reading. Oh and I will NEVER look at a garlic baguette in the same way again…

The writing flows from the page in terrific style – one of those books you live while you are reading it, and will stay with you when you are done…I am quite sad it is over.

Peppered with amazing characters quite aside from George himself – wait until you meet Auntie Lesley – never the less it is bittersweet. A beautiful novel to read and let yourself get absorbed into, I am assuming (and hoping) that we will meet them all again one day. Please read it. You won’t be disappointed.


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Happy Reading Folks!

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One Response to Liz Currently Loves….The Radio by Jonathan Lee

  1. Jen Euwein-Faek says:

    Liz, this a brilliant interview, thank you.

    I read the book myself a few weeks ago and loved it too. I’d advise anyone who enjoys a good story to buy it xxx

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