I am pleased to announce that RASMUS - A TELEVISION TALE will be published in OCTOBER 2016 (28th or earlier).
It has been a hard, but enjoyable, activity writing this complex 'state of the nation' novel - which is unlike any novel I have ever read - set against the backdrop of the TV industry.
I actually started it in 2011, have worked on it since then bit by bit while writing other books, and have more or less rewritten it twice (the first draft was 161,000 words; the published version around 96,000, so lots of cuts made!) It's a book to make people laugh, wince and think - which may not be very popular with some readers (who prefer happy romantic stories about weddings etc - which sell in their millions) but I could not bear writing a novel which had NOTHING to say. RASMUS has a lot to say!
And I can assure readers of one thing: when you read RASMUS you'll never look at TV in the same way again!
PREVIOUS NEW FOR CRUMP (2010)
The book launch has gone well, with lots of positive feedback, and local shops such as Cover to Cover displaying the book prominently - in the shop window too!
I've also received positive feedback in response to some of the promotional copies I sent out: letters from the office of Prince Charles, Rowan Williams, a hand-written note from David Attenborough, and personal emails from Lord Digby Jones and Chris Woodhead, amongst others.
12 April 2010: South Wales Evening Post - article entitled 'Author's got A-list fanbase' published on page 12 with photo; the article calls 'Crump' 'a good read' and says that the 'author has won some famous fans with his debut novel'. Fair enough!
May 2010: Crump has got a great review in the May issue of The Bay magazine. It calls Crump "A startling novel".
May/June 2010: Also, Swansea Eye has got a review of Crump this month: again, a very good one! "The Lucky Jim" of now!
Crump will be available to buy at the Hay Festival site, May-June 2010.
July 2010 - Crump gets a mention on BBC Radio 2.
Pleased to report that Crump has now been read by people in Canada, the USA, Australia, Pakistan, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and in all parts of the UK.
10 August 2010: I was emailed the review that will appear in the September issue of 'Anglo-Files' (a twice-yearly magazine that goes to all schools and colleges in Denmark) by Futurum books (which sells books to schools and colleges in Denmark, Sweden and Norway). Apparently, the review (2000 words in Danish!) in 90% positive! The reviewer praises Crump for being:
“funny, frightening and thought provoking”
Describes what the market forces do to Crump's educational institution; Recommends the book for the English depot at the school; Recommends reading extracts in class; Draws parallels to Danish universities; Ends with various considerations about the future of the Danish educational system. Though the reviewer doesn't like the way Muslims are portrayed in the book!
19 August 2010: A review of Crump on Thebookbag.co.uk today:
Generally positive, stating that Crump has:
"an engaging writing style, that grabs you from the first page and keeps you entertained throughout. The characters are writ large,... the satire easy to get to grips with, and it all flows nicely from the page...As comic novels go, it ticks enough of the right boxes and makes for an enjoyable, light read, perhaps for lounging around on the beach or by the pool. Frustrated teachers on their summer holidays will either find it blessed relief, or a little too close to the bone for comfort."
"Those who hate political correctness will love it."
19.8.10. Today, I became a member of The Society of Authors.
October 2010: did an email interview with The London Student, the biggest student newspaper in Europe.
November 2010: Thetruthaboutbooks.com has been kind enough to do a review, again 90% positive:
"Intended as a darkly comical, yet loaded with truisms; Crump holds no punches – neither in terms of its use of very strong language, nor in its roughshod treatment of the inner workings of higher education."
"Crump is a stinging condemnation of how we have lost sight of the trees for the forest. Its comedic aspects are darker than dark, which won’t be to everyone’s taste. In fact, there will be, no doubt, those who will find this book unpalatable and perhaps offensive. Other will proclaim disgust loudly; whilst quietly agreeing with the vast majority of the author’s sentiments. In our terribly PC world, it is becoming increasingly rare for an author to express certain opinions"
It "certainly send(s) the message that Vanston means business."
November 17 2010:
Greenwich.co.uk review published online. Generally positive:
"Whatever else the book is it is thought provoking, holding many sacred cows of political correctness up for ridicule...Crump is very readable."
www.gwales.com now has an author profile and Crump feature page:
Brilliant (very) dark satire, not for the squeamish or easily offended. When Rasmus takes revenge he certainly does it to the nth degree. I can't honestly say I enjoyed this book, it would me more accurate to say I was totally captivated by it and couldn't wait to see what outrageous thing XTV was going to produce next; which I guess proves the author's point - we are all capable of loving the very things that disturb us!
by NetGalley reviewer
P.J.Vanston has been a teacher and lecturer at schools and colleges in the UK and mainland Europe. He was born and brought up in Kent, but now lives in Swansea where he runs his own editing company. He also writes as Jem Vanston and is published songwriter too.