Set in the mid-1980s, Wivenhoe Park chronicles the adventures of Drew, a former track star turned pill popping, dope smoking, heavy drinking, rock ‘n’ roll-obsessed student with writing aspirations. Drew moves to England on a whim to escape various demons, such as a goth ex-girlfriend he can’t seem to shake out of his system. Experiencing the ascent of a new indie music scene including The Smiths, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Primal Scream, he befriends a cast of characters, including a star Melody Maker journalist, a smooth mod from New York City, and several enticing British girls. Will Drew find peace, love and understanding or will it all burn down like cigarettes?
“Ben Vendetta honestly brings back an era when a stunning, now-legendary post-punk/indie rock scene was blazing in Britain. He slyly evokes this in a coming-of-college-age story of throwing off the influence (and snares) of normal Middle American life by immersing himself right into the thick of theåÊNME/Melody Maker/Sounds-fed maelstrom in England itself.” — Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover
“… a breezy, fast-paced glimpse inside one of the most exciting times in modern pop music, the mid- to late 1980s, an era only a few decades back but eons away.” — Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer
“If John Hughes were still alive… well… he’d never touch this story. It’s too full of the sort of gritty realism that never made it into his well-scrubbed coming-of-age stories.” — Robert Cherry, former Editor-in-Chief, Alternative Press
“Wivenhoe Park wrenched me back to a mid-80s Britain where punk was dead and alternative/goth ruled. If birds, booze and Bunnymen are your thing, as they are mine, then dust off your Sisters of Mercy LPs, squeeze into your Meat Is Murder t-shirt and enjoy the ride.” — Dave Hawes (Catherine Wheel)