Music Played11 items
Van Morrison Brown Eyed Girl
The Very Best Of Van Morrison, Polydor
California 37, Columbia, 1
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Welcome To The Pleasure Dome
Starland Vocal Band Afternoon Delight
Have A Nice Day Vol.18, Rhino
Josh Groban Brave
All That Echoes, Reprise, 1
Neil Sedaka Laughter In The Rain
The Very Best Of Neil Sedaka, Universal Music Tv
George Michael Faith
George Michael - Ladies & Gentlemen, Epic
Lou Reed Perfect Day
Lou Reed - NYC Man, BMG
Dido No Freedom
(CD Single), RCA, 1
David Bowie Where Are We Now?
(CD Single), ISO Records
Gerry & The Pacemakers I Like It
The Hits Of 1963 (Various Artists), EMI
Book Club - The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
Gavin will be on Drivetime from 1800 to talk about his new book
About The Book
Meet teenager Alex Woods. Alex knows things. Lots of things. Like: the record for the number of kittens born to a single mother across her lifespan (420); how many zeros in a quintillion (30); the amount of sugar in a standard two litre bottle of cola (75 teaspoons); the second largest moon in the solar system (Titan – the largest is Ganymede, one of Jupiter’s moons…); and how long it would take to drive to the sun (over 140 years, if you drove 24 hours a day and stuck to the motorway speed limit…)
Alex also knows that he hasn’t had the most conventional start in life. He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won’t endear him to the local bullies. And he knows that even the most improbable events can happen – he’s got the scars to prove it.
What he doesn’t know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he’ll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices.
So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing…
Gavin Extence grew up in the interestingly named village of Swineshead, Lincolnshire. From the ages of 5-11, he enjoyed a brief but illustrious career as a chess player, winning numerous national championships and travelling to Moscow and St Petersburg to pit his wits against the finest young minds in Russia. He won only one game.
Although he also started writing at a very young age, and suspected at the age of ten that he might like to make it his profession, he somehow spent most of the next two decades in education. He finally graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2009, having obtained a PhD from the Department of English Literature. Despite some major deficiencies in argument and research, his work was at least, in the words of his examiner, ‘unusually readable for a PhD thesis’, and it was this feedback – along with the woeful state of the jobs market – that made him reconsider his long-buried literary aspirations.
He spent the next few months writing in secret, until one day his girlfriend confronted him, demanding to know how he was spending his days and why he wasn’t being more proactive in looking for a job. He had little choice but to confess, and was somewhat astounded when she suggested that he stop ‘dabbling’ and commit 100 percent of his energy to writing the best book he could. They married in July 2011, adopted a cat, and now have a daughter.
*Please be advised that the first chapter contains adult themes*
How to get involved
- Straight after Gavin's interview on Drivetime, he'll be taking over the Radio 2 Facebook page to take your questions (from 6.30pm – 7pm)
- You can also tweet questions to Gavin - Send your tweets to @BBCRadio2 using the hashtag: #R2BookClub
- You can also submit questions in advance, by email to email@example.com
- If you wish to be considered as one of our reviewers for this year, you can fill in the from on our Take Part In The Show pages.