Saturday, August 13, 2011

One Dead Hen on the NOT THE BOOKER PRIZE longlist

Hey, Royston Blake is getting some minor recognition. Obviously what he really wants is to win the Nobel Prize for Doormanship, but in the meantime ONE DEAD HEN, his latest outing, has been put on the longlist for the Not The Booker Prize.

In order to reach the shortlist, he needs votes. The book has only just come out, but if you can, please give this book the nod. Shortlists are pretty thin on the ground around here! Voting is a little bit of a pain, but here is what you have to do (bastardised from the Graun's own instructions):

1. Go to this page for One Dead Hen

2. Write a review of no fewer than 150 words in which you try to give a flavour of the book and of its plot and explain why you think the book is important and why others might like it. Then hit submit.

3. Once it has appeared on the page, hit the "link" button that appears in the top right-hand corner of the box containing your review. When the link text appears, "copy" it.

4. Return to this Not the Booker prize page. Go to the comments box at the bottom. Type Vote: Charlie Williams, One Dead Hen into the comments field. After that you type something like: "Here is my review." Highlight that text with my mouse, and hit the button above the comment field that says "link". A prompt box appears asking for a "web address". Paste the copied text in. Hit "post your comment".

5. Get yourself a beer.

This is all a bit academic - the book has only just come out and not that many will have read it. But hey, one can hope. Eye of the tiger! And to whoever nominated me, thanks"

Friday, August 12, 2011

Three Live Reviews

One Dead Hen gets the Nerd of Noir treatment over at Spinetingler:

One Dead Hen is an oil-black comedy, with many of the biggest laughs (and I no-shit laughed audibly many times, in public even, like a fucking keep-your-kids-close creepo) coming from Blake’s misunderstanding or pointed misrepresentation of a given situation. But while the comedy may keep you laughing (even when, say, Blake accidentally smothers someone to death in hopes of seeing if they were just pretending to be unconscious), Williams is also constructing a sly mystery around our hero, and it’s up to the reader’ careful attention to Blake’s context clues (and some insane newspaper articles) to figure out what’s really rotten in Mangel.
Also some great recent reviews at You Would say That, Wouldn't You? and The Paper Tiger's Roar Feed. Mucho grateful to all three of these top bods for taking the trouble. And to you, dear reader, for thinking about checking the book out for yourself. Oh, you weren't, you were just checking the latest riot reports on Sky News.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

One Dead Hen Day

ONE DEAD HEN is published today. I must admit, I sometimes wondered if this day would ever happen. But Royston Blake is back, which is cause for celebration, right? Unless you live in Mangel. If you live in Mangel, very little is a cause for celebration - least of all the presence of Blakey.

If you want to find out what Blakey did next - or you feel like supporting something different - you can get it here (UK), and here (US).

To coincide, I did a piece about the book (and Blakey in general) for the Kindle Post blog.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

One Dead Hen in the Guardian

Hey, check out p9 of today's Guardian Review for a great, erm, review of One Dead Hen, the new Royston Blake vehicle. Or just read it here.

And while we laugh at the absurdity of the story, Williams does just enough to create the nagging worry that it isn't so unreal after all; that Royston is only as much of a caricature as the sensitive intellectual in the Hampstead novel or Jonathan Franzen's troubled Americans. The hideous town of Mangel, meanwhile, with its casual violence, unmanageable drinking and psychotic conservatism, offers up a vision of Britain that seems all too familiar. Royston may have trouble with words of more than two syllables and antediluvian attitudes to everything, but he produces one of the most challenging social commentaries you are likely to read this year. AmazonEncore has rescued an excellent book.

So Royston Blake gets all the credit yet again. Typical!

Many thanks to Sam Jordison for the review.