Hey, USA-ians, don't forget that Stairway to Hell is rocking over to your shores for a June 1st publication. In anticipation of that, here are a couple of recent reviews. Firstly Publishers' Weekly:
Williams’s fourth novel is a funny, absurd, and deeply nerdy channeling of his inner record store clerk. Richard Sutton, aka Rik Suntan, is a rock and roll legend in his own mind. He’s a winner in the local pub circuit in Warchester, England, but his harelip has prevented him from breaking into the big time. So imagine his surprise when he learns he has the soul of David Bowie, the result of a strange, convoluted bit of black magic conjured decades ago by none other than Jimmy Page, who, it turns out, was a warlock during the 1970s. Though the soul swapping is confusing (and involves urine samples), Rik comes to believe that several other locals—most notably a dwarf, who is hosting the soul of George Foreman—are also victims of Page. But all is not as it seems as Rik is approached by the shadowy record Svengali, Marino, and his arch enemy, the pop singer Zachary Bremner. Williams’s prose keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek throughout this spaced-out oddity, mixing a bit of Douglas Adams–style wit with a hipster’s tight-pants irony.Nerdy? Tight underpants? Implicit nods to Nick Hornby? What's going on??? Meanwhile Bill Crider says (and I snip):
This is a very funny book, and a lot of the humor comes from Rik's narration, as he's a guy sublimely unaware of his shortcomings, completely unable to see himself as others see him. When Rik loses his job at a local club, things start happening, most of them bad, and all of them extremely odd. Ted, Rik's manager, is gathering the people who, like Rik, have other people's souls (Rik, in case you're wondering, has David Bowie's). Ted's plan is to reverse the process. It's complicated, completely nuts, and, as I've said already, very funny. You definitely won't read another book like this for a while. If ever. Check it out.You see? Not one mention of pants in there. That's my kind of review.
Many thanks to Messrs Crider and Weekly.