The fourteen stories in Top of the Sixties celebrate a delightful world with the firm belief in progress, new youth culture and boundless optimism that define the 1960s. David Ayres has a unique way of describing the lives of ordinary people, full of humour and empathy. His stories often contain an underlying hint of sensuality. Through a colourful parade of characters we are shown what matters in life. Take, for example, fifteen-year-old Keith, who is working on Mr Davies' van, the grumpy yet good-hearted fruit and veg man, or Alastair, who is trying to find his feet in his first teaching job at a local comprehensive school. The quest for love, by the young and not so young, is masterfully woven into these tales by an experienced storyteller. David Ayres has caught the mood of an era wonderfully, and although change is in the air, he also cleverly shows that certain things remain the same. The stories will generate a smile of recognition on the faces of readers who remember the 1960s. Yet readers of any age will recognise the universal emotions they convey, such as the painful self-consciousness only teenagers can feel or the appearance of love at any age. This collection really puts its finger on what makes people tick. Each story can be read on its own, but together they paint a vivid picture of life in a small, tightly-knit working-class town in the Midlands during the 1960s.