Following the death of his grandmother, his last surviving relative, Carl moves from his native Gibraltar to Birmingham, England. Alone in the world, now in his mid-twenties, Carl finally has to start making his own choices in life. For someone on the autistic spectrum, this is not easy. In Birmingham, a group of friends take Carl under their wing and help him experience life as he has never experienced it before. However, a few months later, Carl’s mental health deteriorates shortly after the media starts reporting on a series of murders. Carl himself is unsure about his relationship to the murders and, since his need for support has gone unnoticed by social services, he must now depend on his friends to help him through the tough times ahead.

With its 18 chapters, all written in a different style, A Dead Man’s Ice Cream is influenced by James Joyce’s Ulysses and it takes us through Carl’s own Joycean journey around early twenty-first century Birmingham. A Dead Man’s Ice Cream explores how society treats its vulnerable members and it raises the question of who we are and what we need to do to feel fulfilled. In a somewhat comical way, a lively ensemble of characters explores a series of serious and confrontational topics dealing with self and society. Carl shows us the importance of remembering the footprints that those we have met have left in our lives. He also prompts us to consider whether we will do something significant with our lives or, if instead, we will let our lives melt away and go to waste like a dead man’s ice cream.