Amazon reviews of 'That Terrible Shadowing'
Ian Rowan: I have always been interested in Caravaggio - more so than any other artist. I enjoy contemporary art but he lived life on the edge in a way that our famous contemporary artists could only dream of. The book perfectly exhibits this. It is exciting and at times funny - due to time travel!. However it more importantly teaches the reader about art/history/life and death in an absorbing way. Enjoyed it more than any Dan Brown.
Mr. James T. Mcguckian "Seamus": Great read, gets you from the first page. An interesting mix of fact and fiction together with a light-hearted often comical present day storyline. I now intend to purchase Helen Langdons "Caravagio a life" to see which is which.
Review of 'Settling'
Bedfordshire Life Magazine Book Review
'Settling' is a new novel, to be published as an ebook by Matador in December, by local author and 'Brain of Britain' David Stedman. His first novel 'That Terrible Shadowing' was a study of the Italian artist and serial offender Caravaggio. His new novel could hardly be more different, being set in modern day London and being a study of a bored late middle aged character named Tony Ballard who suddenly gets the chance to change everything about his stultified life thanks to the death of his wife. A dark and unpromising premise but Stedman had me hooked almost from the start. He draws you into Ballard's world and his relationships with his family, friends and colleagues with writing that is refined, almost sparse, in its clarity. Stedman cleverly maintains a 'hook', a mystery about his wife's last words, throughout the narrative and weaves the story around that but not at the expense of Ballard's intriguing personal life. The story is intercut by Ballard's encounters from an internet dating agency. Although some of them have the ring of truth I found these parts the least satisfactory element and they tend to seem too contrived and jar with the tone of the rest of the story. Throughout the story I wanted to know what happened next and whether Ballard would find the happiness he craved. I was sorry when I had come to the last page and had to leave Ballard's company. In this new age of 'chick lit' and 'gran lit' and 'mummy porn'. Stedman's novel is a more mature and realistic view of love and relationships. Although the story is told from a male point of view and is about love in the twilight of life, 'Settling' should appeal to any age and sex and any person wondering about this mysterious condition called love.
David Stedman was apprenticed in the printing trade and then travelled around the world. He changed career to retail management before discovering a talent as a quiz player which led to him to start his own business as a quiz compiler, founding a national general knowledge tournament that ran for nearly twenty years. In 2003 he was series champion on the Channel Four television quiz 15-to-1 and became BBC Radio Four's Brain of Britain. In 2006 he took part in Mastermind and it was the study of the life and work of the artist Caravaggio as a specialist subject that inspired him to write his debut novel That Terrible Shadowing. His latest novel Settling is a bitter sweet story about relationships based on his own experiences.