Thursday, 10 July 2008

Crusaders in paperback / audio interview & readings online

I could be wrong, but I think the 'mass-market' B-format paperback edition of Crusaders is published into shops on July 31 2008. Forgive me if one more time I plough through the press cuttings. You only get to pitch your first novel once, or - in this case, allowing for the 'second-bite' principle of the mass-market edition - twice. So, what they said was:
‘A magnificent state-of-the-nation epic.’ Financial Times
‘A powerful, assured literary debut that will create loyal congregations of devoted followers.’ Independent on Sunday
'The most impressive, most important literary debut in yonks ... Dostoyevskian in scale and ambition… gets to the cantankerous heart of modern Britain.' Tatler
‘A terrific debut: an intelligent state-of-the-nation epic.’ Mail on Sunday
`An almost Tolstoyan seriousness of purpose... a weighty achievement in every sense.’ Guardian
'A refreshingly ambitious and strikingly accomplished first novel' Independent
‘In Crusaders, the north-east has found a new champion.’ New Statesman
‘A bold novel, one well worth quarrelling with.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Its narrative force and the drive of its characters (even the bit parts), so sharply realised as to be utterly engrossing.’ Scotland on Sunday
‘A very good novel. And it is radical too.’ Glasgow Herald
‘A big, generous fiction debut that resurrects a whole tradition of British writing - the state-of-the-nation’s-morals set piece, more familiar from Victorian literature - and breathes new life into it... A novelist to watch.’ Sunday Times
‘Ambitious, truthful, perceptive and heart-breaking... It has sat well alongside The Brothers Karamazov on my bedside table... I admired this novel more than I can say for tackling some big, important, impossibly complex issues boldly and full-on... It is a book with a heart and a soul and courage and conviction and I commend it to you.’ Susan Hill
Crusaders' dedicated page on the Faber website is here. I'm also most grateful for the presence on the Faber site of some very extensive MP3 files related to Crusaders. Here is a long-ish interview between myself and George Miller about the writing and the themes and true-life context of the novel. And then there are four short-ish readings from the novel, by myself. Here is a bit from the early chapter describing Reverend Gore's return to Newcastle by train in September 1996. Here is a bit from one of the 'flashback' chapters: 'Big Steve' Coulson, in the summer of 1988, struggling with unplanned parenthood and a new threat to his authority as Newcastle's number-one doorman and tough nut. Here is an extract from Gore's first fractious audience with Dr Martin Pallister MP, at Pallister's flashy Newcastle office. And here is something from one of the many lovers' spats between Gore and Lindy Clark.

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