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David Cook Biography

(1940– ), Albert's Memorial, Happy Endings, Walter, Walter's Doves, Sunrising, Missing Persons

walter boy novel

British actor, novelist, and television playwright, born in Preston, Lancashire, educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His first novel, Albert's Memorial (1972), introduces us to the widowed Mary and the homosexual Paul, both bereaved and marginal tragi-comic figures, the first of his gallery of portraits of eccentric and often vagrant characters, all of whom are seen with insight, wit, and sympathy. This was followed by Happy Endings (1974), the story of a disturbed 12-year-old boy accused of ‘interfering’ with a 5-year-old girl; Walter (1978), his best-known work, which describes the boyhood and youth of a mentally handicapped man, and its sequel, Walter's Doves (1979), in which Walter takes to the road with his friend June; Sunrising (1984), a historical novel set against the violent background of agricultural riots in the 1830s; Missing Persons (1986); Crying Out Loud (1988); and Second Best (1991), about a single male's attempt to adopt a 10-year-old boy, which was filmed with Anthony Hopkins in 1992. Cook's works show a particular feeling for the disadvantaged, both young and elderly, and a professional knowledge of the world of welfare and social service. He has also written educational programmes for slow learners.

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