Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who's Afraid of the Booker Prize? by Peter Cowlam

Who's Afraid of the Booker Prize?
Published April 2013, Peter Cowlam’s novel Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize?, is a deliciously malicious satire on literary celebrity.

For Alistair Wye, assistant to ‘top’ novelist Marshall Zob, Zob makes just two mistakes. First, he plans a commemorative book celebrating the life and work of his dead mentor, John Andrew Glaze, whose theory of ‘literary time’ is of dubious philosophical pedigree. Second, Zob turns the whole literary world on its head through the size of advance he instructs his agent to negotiate for his latest, and most mediocre novel to date.

Secretly Wye keeps a diary of Zob’s professional and private life. Comic, resolute, Wye stalks through its every page, scattering his pearls with an imperious hand, while an unsuspecting Zob ensures perfect conditions for the chronicler of his downfall.

Set in the relatively safe remove of London’s beau monde in the early 1990s, Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize? unremittingly debunks the phenomenon of literary celebrity.

The plot revolves round a researcher working through an archive of computer discs, emails and faxes, and his own diary entries recording his reactions to life in proximity to bookish heavyweight Marshall Zob. It’s a roaring satire, with a serious message, and remarkably funny, in the best English comedic tradition.

Who's Afraid of the Booker Prize? is published by CentreHouse Press, paperback, 270 pages. See Amazon purchase options: USA, UK.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Guide to Dartmoor's Lydford

Lydford, by Tony Phillips
Dartmoor is one of the UK’s National Parks, and is situated in Devon in the Southwest of England. The Essential Dartmoor Series, published by CentreHouse Press, and written by travel writer Tony Phillips, is a collection of tourist and travel guides, featuring some well known and not so well known areas of Dartmoor. The first in the series, ‘Lydford’, ranges from Lydford’s Saxon past, to the sixth-century founding of its first Christian church, to its tin mining in the Middle Ages. At that time, with its jurisdiction over the stannary districts of Devon, it gained a fearful reputation for its harsh laws and cruel punishments. Today Lydford is a quiet village nestling in the western edge of Dartmoor, with an enormous fund of history. Publication includes comprehensive guide to local facilities and accommodation. Available on Amazon Kindle in the USA here, and in the UK and Europe etc. here.