To many of those who know him there seems little doubt that Michael Clark is destined for failure; from early years in the orphanage, through adoption into an austere middle-class family, and on to a desperately-unhappy childhood, it appears that loneliness and failure will be his only companions.
Unloved at home, bullied and belittled at school, and desperate to somehow please the only family he has ever known, he becomes solitary and introverted; finding solace only in fishing at the local lake, or wandering the streets of London.
But then, he and his disgruntled parents are called before the school’s head-teacher for a brutal assessment of a young man’s apparently limitless inventory of flaws and failings.
Following this occasionally cruel and sometimes comical assessment, Michael leaves school and applies to the only avenue left open to him: an apprenticeship in the armed forces.
In so doing he enters a harsh world of painful lessons and self-discovery, and slowly begins to rebuild all of those personal and emotional structures that had been so badly eroded and damaged over the years.
Set against a background of military coups, exotic locations, and overseas theatres of war,Flying with Cuckoos follows a young man’s trials and tribulations as he struggles for self-worth, while battling life and love, courage and adversity, and his own thoroughly-confused emotions.
At times poignant and at times amusing, the fact that Flying with Cuckoos is a true story makes it all the more remarkable.