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Rare Singles

UK Publisher: Bloomsbury

A warm, tender and funny story about unlikely friendships, second chances, and the magic of soul music – perfect for fans of Nick Hornby, David Nicholls and Jonathan Coe

Dinah has always lived in Scarborough. Trapped with her feckless husband and useless son, her one release comes at her town’s Northern Soul nights, where she gets to put on her best and lose herself in the classics.

Dinah has an especial hero: Bucky Bronco, who recorded a string of soul gems in the late Sixties and then vanished off the face of the earth. When she manages to contact Bucky she can’t believe her luck.

Over in Chicago, Bucky Bronco is down on his luck – and has been since the loss of his beloved wife Maybelle. The best he can hope for is to make ends meet, and try and stay high.

But then an unexpected invitation arrives, from someone he’s never met, to come to somewhere he’s never heard of. With nothing to lose – and in need of the cash – Bucky boards a plane.

And so Bucky finds himself in rainy Scarborough, where everyone seems to know who is – preparing to play for an audience for the first time in nearly half a century. Over the course of the week, he finds himself striking up new and unexpected friendships; and facing his past, and its losses, for the very first time.

Wise, hilarious and profound, Rare Singles is an unforgettable story about the power of music and friendship to bring us back to ourselves.


‘With attuned, sensory prose, Benjamin Myers has crafted a memorable story about what endures within and between us during hard times. A writer who continues to build a rich and bold body of work on his own terms’ – Ronán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul

‘People, you’re going to love this. A beautiful vignette of redemption, loss, faded seaside glamour and Northern Soul’ – Mat Osman, author of The Ghost Theatre

‘Warm, witty and unexpected, Rare Singles is that rare thing – a novel filled with truth and tenderness and genuine humanity. The book you didn’t know you need’ – Bobby Palmer, author of the Sunday Times-bestselling Isaac and the Egg

‘Scarborough’s Northern Soul scene is the setting for Rare Singles by the Durham-born Benjamin Myers, who won the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize’ – New Statesman, 2024: The year in fiction

‘Returns Myers to his past as a music journalist, telling a warmly nostalgic tale of northern soul and unlikely friendship in Scarborough. The great but forgotten Bucky Bronco’s visit to the Yorkshire coast is handled with Myers’s customary humour and generosity of spirit’ – Guardian, Fiction to look out for in 2024

Benjamin Myers is an award-winning author and journalist whose work has been translated into many languages. His most recent novel, Cuddy, won...