Zooloo's BE - Wilson Indeed
ZOOLOO'S BOOK TOURS
In The Market Square, the fantastical setting for all his dream activities, Wilson Armitage is able to take night classes on any subject and absorb a wealth of knowledge from just a few hours of sleep. As though logging into a wifi of dreams to download information. As his childhood passes, both wary of and reticent to acknowledge his extraordinary ability, Wilson attempts to lead a normal life and stay beneath the radar of family and friends.
At the age of seventeen however, his cover is blown by Daisy Meadowcroft. During a chance encounter in The Market Square, they agree to meet the next day and are propelled from a dream world into the reality of a coffee shop in the centre of Manchester. Enthralled by their shared gift, they strike up a close friendship and encourage each other to seek a rational, scientific explanation for their unique talents.
One of the reasons that I like to do book tours is that I get to read some books that would not normally be on my radar. And the sad fact is that I may have passed Wilson Indeed by. However, I am on Zooloo’s Book Tours and saw this one and thought, ‘hmmm sounds interesting!’, and boy am I glad I did!
Wilson Indeed is the story of Wilson Armitage, a normal boy just living outside of Stockport. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about Wilson until one day, he comes down for breakfast and is able to speak fluent French, at the age of five. Nobody has taught him the language, and he is not even remotely French in any way.
This is the start of a number of unexplainable and remarkable things that that he does throughout his life, and with that we learn that Wilson Armitage is far from a normal boy. He has the inexplicable talent to be able to learn things that no one has taught him. Is he a genius? A prodigy? Well, no, not really! It is just that he can access information from his dreams. And thus, we have the premise of the book.
The Wifi of dreams delighted me throughout, and I clicked with it immediately. Steve Walsh’s writing style is so accessible and good natured, that he draws you along with the story of Wilson Armitage and the events that unfold in the book, and I think that one of the enchanting things that he does in the book, is that he makes the unbelievable believable and makes you want to be a part of this world.
The story itself is part coming of age story, with Wilson coming to terms about his abilities and also finding out about the existentialist nature of the world that he inhabits when he sleeps, at other times, it is a teenage boys first relationship with a girl. There is a bit of mystery thrown in, especially when Wilson decides that he can do some good with his extraordinary abilities.
Wilson himself is a good character, he’s at once gifted with extraordinary abilities, but fallible in his own way as he is a teenage boy, and he makes mistakes. The supporting cast of Teaps and Hoover, Daisy and the Armitage family as a whole help to give some delightful scenes throughout the book. The standouts being Hoovers lost sock website, or his interactions with his family. However, it is Teaps that you cannot help but liking. His story really tugs at your strings and you cannot help but have some empathy with the situation that he is in.
Now, I think what got my attention the most was the descriptions of the dream land, the reasons for it and how it impacts on Wilson and those around him. I think Steven Walsh did an exceptional job with this part of the book. He gives it a decidedly other world feel, but at the same time, keeps it restrained enough to feel within the realms of possibilities. With this maintenance of that fine balance, he is able to expand it further and introduce other possibilities to its actual nature. Yes, there are the theories of Morphic Fields underpinning this, but the concept is used to great effect to provide an immersive narrative that I just wanted to read until the end.
I think for me personally, with the book being set in the North it brought some elements of nostalgia to me and also gave me those connections. For instance, when he describes that Wilson’s mum was making the tea. Obviously, I immediately clicked because that is how I talk, so there was that instant connection. But there were other things too that reminded me of favourite things. The interactions with his family brought to mind Sue Townsend. Added to that, there is a scene in the dream world in which all the participants stop as though they have been frozen, and this immediately put me in mind of Powell & Pressburger’s film ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ which is one of my favourite films ever. It’s little things like that that hooked me in.
I have to say that Wilson Indeed is a moreish book that I just wanted to carry on with to see what happens next.
ABOUT THE AUTHORFor twenty years Steve Walsh honed his skills in prose as an advertising copywriter; the ‘ideas’ man in a Manchester based marketing agency that carried his name.
In the late 1990’s he stumbled into the world of the dotcom entrepreneur and his claim to fame is as the creator of the hotel booking service, laterooms.com and the first car insurance comparison site, easycover.com. So, the birth of Meerkats, a Welsh opera singer and being confused.com might be considered as down to him, for which he apologises.
He now uses his vivid imagination and gentle Mancunian wit to write visionary fantasy novels with bold concepts. Wilson indeed, the first book in his trilogy The WiFi of Dreams takes the reader on a richly imagined, fact meets fiction adventure story to which we can relate and feel we can touch. A whimsical interrogation of the inexplicable and fundamental tenets of our lives – the role and meaning of dreams, the nature of the hereafter, hard and soft science, a love story – what more can you want?
Butterfly Assassins, the second book in the trilogy, will be published in Summer 2021.
In a recent survey, 85% of people said yes to the question: “Do you believe there are things out there that science can’t explain?”
If you’re one of those 85%, you’ll love The WiFi of Dreams series.
Born and bred in the north west of England, Steve Walsh has three children and likes to fly fish in his spare time.