In the Shadow of Marc Bolan

A Child of Rarn

Publisher: PublishNation (12 July 2024)

Language: ‎English

Paperback: ‎230 pages

ISBN 13-‎979-8329113761

Dimensions: ‎13.97 x 1.32 x 21.59 cm

What people are saying...

“In the Shadow of Marc Bolan tells the moving story of the psychological aftermath and spiritual influence Bolan left behind following his untimely death in 1977. Cleverly written with sensitivity and respect, this book is a must-read  for all of Bolan’s people, one I am more than happy to endorse as a life-long T.Rex fan." - Sue Bone

“Well done to Mal Foster for having the foresight to produce such a precious little masterpiece”. -   Jonathan Finden

"Great story. I really enjoyed it. This novel deserves to do well!" - Zoe Hatfield

“It oozes something which is purely lyrical, thought-provoking, and at times, quite heart-breaking. As with many of this author’s titles, you find yourself siding with the protagonist and fighting their corner. I know this book will appeal to all those valiant souls who still live and breathe the music of their late 70’s, glam rock idol, and I suspect it will also attract the attention of many outside the sphere of Marc Bolan/T.Rex fandom. A truly brilliant read!” - Fiona Browne (Literary Editor)

“Intriguing and most interesting, not for just fans of Marc Bolan, but for those ‘on the outside’ too.  Although not directly about Marc, it is still associated and makes a lovely change from the usual books related to him, as it takes us somewhere else, and from an entirely different perspective”.  – Danielz (T.Rextasy)

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INTERVIEW – In the Shadow of Marc Bolan

Kathy Kelso, March 2024

Catching up with my old friend and confidante, Mal Foster, is always a delight. He is the epitome of the teenage dream. “Think like a kid, and you will stay young,” says the boyish sixty-seven-year-old who was born in Surrey in December 1956.


We last spoke when his fifth novel, Fluke’s Cradle, was published in 2022. Since then, he has released The Story of Virna Babineaux and is about to unleash his seventh book, the much anticipated In the Shadow of Marc Bolan, his biggest project to date.

Mal and I have known each other since the mid-1970s. He was a massive T.Rex fan in those days, and I remember how desperate and devastated he was when Marc Bolan died before his time in 1977.

Mal says, “I was just twenty back then. Indeed, the events of ’77 made me feel completely numb for quite a long time. For a while, I couldn’t play any Bolan songs. Marc’s voice just set me off. I didn’t want to accept that he was gone. It wasn’t until one summer’s evening in 1982 that I could dig out all those vinyls again.”

And now you have written a book about it all?

“I was never going to write a book about Marc himself. The inspiration comes from those left behind who are still influenced by his music.”

Nearly fifty years since his death, Marc Bolan’s popularity is as strong as ever.

“Just look at social media", says Mal. “There is a whole raft of stuff relating to Bolan. Books, films, some great tribute bands, and historical interviews. Most recently, a tribute album and the documentary Angel-Headed Hipster".

“Although a little apprehensive and nervous that there may have been parallels with my new book’s storyline, I enjoyed the recent release of Bolan’s Shoes, which included superb performances by Leanne Best and Timothy Spall. The film proved to me that everyone has their own unique story to tell.”

“Going back, I remember sitting in a smoky cinema in Camberley when Born to Boogie was released in 1972. I watched it around and around on a loop and stayed in the Odeon for at least seven hours that day.”

So, what eventually made you put pen to paper with this one?

“I’ve always wanted to write a book of fiction different from anything else I’d seen. Something that people could dip into at any time and find very lyrical. A book they would want to sing along to in some way! My regular readers will notice that the book is in a journal style, similar to my first novel, The Asylum Soul".

And what about the novel itself? Without giving away any spoilers, please do tell me more…

“Look, here’s an early synopsis,” says Mal, sheepishly passing over his phone…

[See above]

So, what are your honest aspirations for this book?

“Honest? Ha ha. Of course, I want the book to appeal to Bolan fans and those less familiar with his music and other work. I hope I have produced something which underlines the deep respect I have always had for him. Please remember, though, the novel itself is about the son of a T.Rex fan, and not Marc Bolan himself, although I must confess, the strong spiritual presence of Bolan does play its part.” 


In the Shadow of Marc Bolan is a sensitively written tale about a man obsessed with the spirit of Marc Bolan. The book's protagonist is Marc Abela, who was born the same day Bolan died when a car driven by his girlfriend Gloria Jones crashed through a fence and hit a tree in Barnes, south-west London, in the early hours of 16 September 1977.

Marc Abela has always lived his life in the shadow of the late glam rock icon. Indeed, he had spent his first few years on this earth growing up against the backdrop of Bolan’s music. Marc's mother, a devoted Bolan/T.Rex fan tragically died by her own hand when he was only five.

The story is a powerful and plausible paranormal/psychological drama, predominately set in a Surrey psychiatric unit in the modern day. Now forty-six years old, Marc finds himself institutionalised and refusing to speak after being sectioned under the 1983 Mental Health Act.

As they seek a diagnosis, specialists believe there could be a link between Marc’s current predicament and what had happened in his past. Could the spiritual influence of Marc Bolan be the real reason for what they believe is a ‘self-inflicted’ condition? Psychologist Hercules Brown and his colleagues pull out all the stops to find the answer.

Paperback: £8.99

Kindle: £3.29