Ballad of Syd & Morgan
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A beautiful young man dressed in Cuban heels and a crushed-velvet jacket cuts a dash as he strides up Silver Street in his native Cambridge, heading for the ornate splendour of King's College. It is 1968. He is the 22 year old Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, and his destination is home to the great Edwardian novelist, 89 year old E M Forster. What follows is a tender exchange of truths between two men belonging to opposite ends of the 20th century, but who find within each other's company shadows of the same demons, loves and losses as well as the familiar weight of the creative impulse. They become unlikely comrades passing fleetingly through each other's lives. Conjuring the mischievous spirit of Pan, Haydn Middleton has created an exquisite fiction involving two towering figures of English culture. The Ballad of Syd & Morgan is a deeply moving but joyous portrait of the despair and redemption at the heart of artistic endeavour, as well as the essential solace of companionship - wherever it may be found. Exquisite.Brilliantly imagines a meeting between Syd Barrett and EM Forster.Alex Preston, The Observer cultural highlights 2018. A great vision of a meeting that could so easily have happened, making both Morgan and most importantly Syd into real people. Syd has consistently been written off as a simple acid casualty. Brain rotted by the summers of love. This humanises him and for this I'm grateful.Hank Wangford Haydn Middleton's principal challenge, in this engaging novella, is to give the hour-long imaginary encounter between a psychedelic rock god and a veteran novelist a faint sheen of plausibility... Hunkered down on either side of the crackling fire - the one sagacious and intrigued, the other nervous and deferential - novelist and disclaiming rock star soon find they have a great deal in common...The overall effect is surprisingly harmonious. The only surprise, by the end, is that a lost spoken-word collaboration isn't lying somewhere in the vaults at EMI DJ Taylor,TLS Uncannily a very, very good representation of Syd. I felt very close to him reading the book. A gentle conversation between two very interesting minds.Rosemary Breen, sister of Syd Barrett. Beautifully written, brilliant. As poignant as it is playful. Jackie McGlone, Glasgow Herald.