“A sharp-as-steel lawnmower of a book”: latest Quintember review

There’s a wonderful review of Richard Major’s Quintember in ‘Living Church’ – one that really picks up on the theological strands woven into the violence, mayhem and black humour.

“To say that Quintember is a mock-thriller and a comedy of manners is like saying that the Symposium is a dialogue. […] Quintember is a thesaurus of astute critiques of theological, philosophical, literary-critical, and cultural stances. These are presented through the medium of a whimsical adventure-narrative populated by caricatures and types fallen prey to the besetting lure of heresies and perversities both sacred and profane. This is a hilarious and sharp-as-steel lawnmower of a book, cutting a bold swath through the field of human delusion and vanity.”

We also learn a little more about Richard himself.

“From the pen of a graduate of St. Stephen’s House (an Anglican seminary in the Catholic tradition), an Oxford DPhil, and former Anglican Chaplain of Florence, the colorful, discerning, and exotic is to be expected. Quintember combines the charm of A.N. Wilson, the satire of Thomas Love Peacock, the observation of Thackeray, and the imagination of Robertson Davies with something of Sharpe’s Porterhouse Blue, Epiphanius’s Panarion(Against the Heresies), Beerbohm’s Zuleika Dobson, and a little of what is truly sinister in C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength.'”

Most necessary sin of Adam: Richard Major’s Quintember by Rev Graeme Napier 

 

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TPBP Winter Showcase

We were delighted to see IndieBooks’ titles selected in all categories for The People’s Book Prize Winter Showcase: charity fundraising title, From Syria With Love in non-fiction; Richard Major’s Quintember in fiction; and the timeless Worrals series in children’s books.

The People’s Book Prize spoke to Richard Major about Quintember, and what he has planned for the future:

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  1. Have you got a message for your readers?

 I hope people thoroughly enjoy Quintember! It’s supposed to break out of the usual genre divisions – it’s a satire as well as a thriller, a novel of ideas as well as a romp, a fantasia but also a comedy of manners  – and to be neither high-brow and serious nor low-brow fluff. And if you do enjoy it, there’s lots more to come.

  1. What can we expect from you in the future?

There are five more installments of the misdemeanours of Felix Culpepper written, and they’ll appear over the next few years. He doesn’t become any better behaved.

My short novella Attu appeared as an ebook at Christmas. It’s about a mischievous president who announces the end of the world. He’s joking, he’s just kidding about with comets – isn’t he? Eight billion people around the world aren’t so sure.

A more serious political novella, begat, will be published spring. It’s a blackly comic tale set in a grisly, too pre-failed to fail, English university, where the students invent a mascot: an imaginary student, who bodes larger and larger as they empty into him all the worst of themselves. He’s monstrous, he even looks monstrous (being a bad online montage, a photoshop Frankenstein); but his nastiness is oddly irresistible, especially on social media; he effortlessly rises to national power, and inflicts national destruction, without having to exist. begat’s a satirical study of how an apocalyptic monster is created: how the mob drains all the evil stowed within their ids into one phantasmagorical abortion of a human, cherished for his deformities. For what it’s worth, it was written fourteen months ago, before I had heard of Donald Trump.

  1. Any suggestions to support libraries?

Like (I imagine) most children, I discovered the joy and importance of reading at my local public library — and not at school — and therefore owe libraries a debt that can never be repaid. It’s worth saying this, perhaps, in a time when arts funding of all sorts is under question in this country and elsewhere. So nothing would make me prouder than bringing this tiny addition to literature in English back to libraries by way of talks or readings or displays.

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Richard Major

You can vote for Quintember here.

‘Major’ Book Launches

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Shadows in the Bookshop

Our highly anticipated anthology ‘Shadows on the Fens’  will be launched at 7pm on  Friday 30th September at Waterstones in Cambridge, accompanied by Autumn Nightmares– a special event celebrating the ghost story tradition in East Anglia.

Many great writers have set their finest ghostly tales in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, and over 20 of these are contained in this anthology. Several of these tales have not been available for many years.

The anthology features three new stories too. These include Black Shuck the Devil’s Dog, by Piers Warren, who is the winner of a special competition we held with the Eastern Daily Press to find a local writer who is carrying on the region’s famous tradition of the ghost story.

Tickets for Autumn Nightmares are £4 (redeemable against the purchase of the book) and are now on sale from Waterstones’ Cambridge store and on its website.  Tel: 01223 351 688

This event, only really suitable for adult audiences, will feature actor Richard Holliss in the persona of M.R. James. (Montague Rhodes James was a distinguished academic who was based at King’s College Cambridge, and the author of what are regarded as the finest ghost stories in the English language). Author Piers Warren, and actor Robin Watson, who recently triumphed in a production of The Dresser, will be joining him to read a selection of stories with accompanying sound effects etc.

Autumn Nightmares – An Evening of East Anglian Ghost Stories. Halloween comes early this year when on September 30th, at Waterstones in Cambridge, the launch of Shadows on the Fens, Wayne Adrian Drew’s anthology of new and classic ghostly tales, will be marked by a very special event. Please be aware that there will be low levels of lighting and ghostly sound effects at this chilling theatrical series of readings designed only for adult audiences.

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Latitude North Launched

3984448093_d6bc6980cbWe had a great get-together last night at Hughes Hall Cambridge, with friends, colleagues and well-wishers there to see Charles Moseley’s  Latitude North brought into the world. But don’t be down-hearted if you weren’t there, as we have teamed up with Cambridge institution Heffers to put on an event at their Trinity Street bookshop on 12 January. Charles will be reading from Latitude North and discussing his adventures and experiences in the far north, from the lost Viking settlements of Greenland to encounters with Polar bears. For more details, and to book your ticket, click here. The event is free, but places are limited and likely to go fast!