Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Reasons to be cheerful?

I was supposed to have my book in the shops in mid-December, then I was promised it would be before Christmas then after Christmas and now it's going to be out in early January. I am confident that my book will be published but I am not sure when!

Anyway on a brighter note; Joe Stein author of Another Mans World and Calm Fire, Calm Rage has reviewed the "soon"-to-be-published book. I'd like to thank Joe for taking the time and effort to do the review and I'd also like to share it with you.

motorbikes, ducks and crispy sweet apples

Christopher I King’s debut novel is quirky, interesting and eminently readable.

The prologue to the story of Jimmy Gallagher grabs hold of you and it threatens to be a white knuckle paced ride.
And then the author backtracks.
And you realise that this is not so much a thriller in the conventional term, but more a story about a character, a man caught up in a situation partly of his own making, but mainly out of his control and as we learn what has brought him to this position, an odd thing happens, something which is rare in thriller-land. We start to care what happens to this man. Jimmy is us. Maybe doing things we wouldn’t do, but he could be anyone of us. A basically decent guy, trying to do his best and checked at many, if not all turns, by fate, human nature and the vagaries of life.
And sometimes he wins, as in the quick thinking comment to shut up the cab driver on the way to Gatwick airport, and sometimes he loses (witness the ‘one sock’ episode). Just like we do.
It’s rare to find really likeable characters in modern thriller fiction, mostly they are flawed heroes, or people with a manufactured ‘past’. Where ‘Motorbikes, Ducks and Crispy Sweet Apples’ scores, is in having an ‘everyman’ hero, struggling with the day to day living as we all do and being both instantly recognisable and likeable at the same time. And when the living turns out to be not so day to day, when the situation starts to spiral out of control, the character retains his credibility, he still tries to do the right thing.
That and King’s excellent recognition of the absurdities of life, make this a trip to the States to remember for the reader as well as for Jimmy Gallagher. I was genuinely caught up with the character and the story. King has an ear for dialogue and the rare ability to see and transcribe the idiocies of general living that we all know and try to avoid mentioning, even, or especially, when we’re caught out by them.
The comic elements are clear and at times laugh out loud, but in many ways this is a serious story as well, with characters who are lonely and sometimes desperate. And there is nothing funny about the final situation.
A welcome new voice, then, and more importantly, a different and distinctive one.
And yes, Mr. King, I do want to know what happens next!

Joe Stein

Note: This review refers to a pre-publication electronic version of the book.

8 comments:

Casdok said...

Great review! You must be thrilled. I cant wait till your book comes out.
Happy New Year!!

nitebyrd said...

Awesome review! The delays must be terribly frustrating. I'm sorry that both of you are going through this.

I'm trying to be patient over here for the book(s) to be available on Amazon.

Lady in red said...

No wonder I have not been able to find it in the book shops. I thought there might have been a display in the book shop in town for our new local author.

I really enjoyed reading the excerpt when you were posting them so can't wait to get hold of the finished article. This really was a fabulous review congratulations Chopper.

DJ Kirkby said...

Such a great review honey but then I would expect nothing less. You are a great writer and so is Joe, therefore he was bound to enjoy your book! So... what did happen next? Huh? Well hopefully one of the things that happen next is that our books go up on Amazon next week!

TOM FOOLERY said...

Me likes the sound of this book - very much indeed. Will hunt it down once it hits the bookshelves. TFX

Chopper said...

C; A happy new year to you too.

N; It is very frustrating indeed!

LinR; It's changed beyond recognition from the days it was posted on here, hopefully for the better.

DJ; Next week? Forever the optomist!

TF; If you find it please let me know!!

East Anglian Troy said...

Wow, you and DJ seem to outdoing yourselves with the most fantastic reviews.

That review has wetted my appetite but I'll wait to buy the book until the launch party.

Is your Book Target graphic on your blog working? It doesn't seem to be moving very quickly. I hope you will be performing at the book launch - some of us are coming a long way and want to be entertained!

Chopper said...

EAT; I'm going to have to take the target graphic thing down as we have replaced our old computer and now I can't remember how to update it. Though there wouldn't be that much updating to do over the last few weeks and we might be sitting in silence for a while when I was supposed to read. That is if I have anything to read from!!