‘Characters are like a scent bottle. To meet them is to lift the stopper; to get to know them, never to put it back; then the scent, it spreads around the world.’
What’s haunting Kennedy? He believes that literary characters exist just like you or me, but he’s getting nowhere trying to prove it. His Falstaff project is an embarrassment; Barbara’s wanting a baby; there’s that trouble from last autumn; he can’t even tell a story.
His fortunes change when he’s befriended by Arthur Mountain, a larger-than-life Welshman with a peculiar take on history and a grand distaste for the modern world. Together with his trainspotting wife, snooty secretary and trusty machete, Arthur opens Kennedy’s soul.
Philosophical, frightening and hilarious, British Story is an adventure in imagination and a rallying cry for wonder. With this witty and critical examination of contemporary life, Michael Nath has called up the lost spirit of resistance. The stoplines are operational!
British Story moves between England, Wales and Scotland (Essex, London, Swansea, Doncaster, Lincoln, Edinburgh), c.1970-2006.
‘I loved it. Nath takes the reader on an almost encyclopaedic tour of the often violent and always edgy relationships between the English, Welsh and Scottish nations. A loud and extraordinarily compelling novel, tussling with the big issues of life and death.’
– The Morning Star, Book of the Year
‘Includes nods to Shakespeare and Joyce and Tristram Shandy, references enough playing with modernism and literary style to offer an unorthodox survey course with this as the one required text.’
– Kirkus Reviews
‘A wonderful exercise in novelistic virtuosity, strange and beautiful.’
– Times Literary Supplement