When 42 year old satirical cartoonist, Dennis Pugh, publishes his cartoon narrative,
Noises Through the Wall, the story of a teenager on a 60s council estate in Manchester
who goes through puberty only a thin wall away from his sexually exuberant neighbours,
Neil and Helen, the psycho-thriller of the real events on which his book is based
Set in 1969 on a council estate in North Manchester this thriller-cum-dark-satire
centres on Dennis’s adolescent travails, including his longings for both Helen and
a teenager, Lorraine Lever; on what he hears through the wall and the puzzle of who
commits the central murder.
In a tone that is not so much social realism as dark comedy, a mode that’s appropriate
to Dennis’s adult profession, Not Tonight Neil, deftly handles not only coming of
age, but the struggles of people living in close proximity to carve out their own
identities. Brimming with sharply observed characters, Not Tonight Neil is at once
hilarious and poignant, witty and humane.