Necropolis is Now On Sale
13 Bizarre Books
Authors as Desserts III
15 Bizarre Male Author Facts
Bizarre Female Author Facts
Authors as Desserts II
Bizarre Book Trivia
8 Authors as Desserts
My Favourite Books I
7 Dystopian Novels

Necropolis is Now On Sale

Necropolis is 99c/99p for today and only (24th). Usual price: $3.35/£2.29.

Necropolis is a satirical black comedy about a sociopath. It is my second novel.


The blurb:

A black comedy of true distinction

Dyson Devereux works in the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council. Dyson is intelligent, incisive and informed. He is also a sociopath. Dyson’s contempt for the bureaucracy and banality of his workplace provides ample refuge for his mordant wit. But the prevalence of Essex Cherubs adorning the headstones of Newton New Cemetery is starting to get on his nerves.

When an opportunity presents itself will Dyson seize his chance and find freedom, or is his destiny to be a life of toil in Burials and Cemeteries?

Click here to read Crime Fiction Lover’s 5/5 star review (warning: contains some spoilers). Crime Fiction Lover is Britain’s largest and most prestigious Crime Fiction review site.

Necropolis has 42 reviews/ratings on Goodreads. Click here to see them.


Here are 2 short snippets:

It is the usual Halloween meets council workers scene – ubiquitous witches and black cats, a smattering of demons with horned-headbands, some carrying cheap plastic pitch-forks. In the far corner two finance workers wrapped in black cloaks, hold Scream film series inspired, white ghost masks to their faces…

To look upon Irene is to stare into a looking glass, into a world of cheap retail outlets, suburban cul-de-sacs, Sky television itineraries, frozen Iceland trifles and Co-operative Funeralcare plans.

The sale is for today only, so hurry why stocks last. Actually on second thoughts ebook stocks can’t run out. But the price will be returning to normal on the 25th ($3.35/£2.29).

Here are the links: (99c) (99p)

Necropolis is also available in paperback.

13 Bizarre Books

I always knew there were some bizarre books out there, but I was not aware quite how bizarre until researching this post. Here are 13 books that I consider to be bizarre. I have added pithy comments/fictitious dialogue below each.


Gadsby: A Lipogram Novel


This 50,000+ word lipogram novel claims not to use the letter e.

How many e’s can you spot on the front cover?


Highlights in the History of Concrete


If you’re going to go to the trouble of writing a book about the history of concrete, you might as well tell the whole story.


Sexual Analysis of Dickens’ Props 

Dickens Props

I always knew that chair in Oliver Twist had sexual connotations, but no one would listen.


The Big Book Of Lesbian Horse Stories

Lesbian Horse

One Amazon reviewer claims that The Big Book Of Lesbian Horse Stories is merely a normal sized book of lesbian horse stories.


Latawnya, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say “No” to Drugs


This is how I imagine Latawnya the Naughty Horse learns how to say ‘No’ to drugs.

Someone walks into Latawnya’s stable holding some drugs.

Person: ‘Hi Latawnya you naughty horse, would you like some drugs?’

Latawnya: ‘Neighhhh.’

‘Let’s try that again shall we. Would you like some drugs?’


‘Would you like some drugs?’


Latawyna has learnt to say no to drugs. Have you?


Castration: The Advantages and the Disadvantages 


You mean to say there are disadvantages.


How to Speak Cat: The Essential Primer of Cat Language

Speak Cat

Purr whilst rubbing against someone if you want something, arch your back and hiss if you are angry, meow for everything else.


Anybody Can Be Cool– But Awesome Takes Practice


Oh, awesome takes practice! That explains why I’ve been stuck on cool for so long.


How to Avoid Huge Ships 


Don’t go on cruises or swim in harbours.


Why Not Eat Insects? 


Why not indeed!


How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich

Green Nazis

The Nazis may have killed millions of people, but when it came to recycling…


Dating for Under a Dollar: 301 Ideas

Dollar Dating

Go to McDonald’s with your date and order a grilled onion cheddar burger from the dollar menu, then pull out 99c and plead until they let you off the 1c. Now cut the burger in 2 and give her/him half, but with all the onions.

Date: ‘All the onions? That’s so kind. Are you sure?’

You: ‘Yes I’m sure. Now eat them before I change my mind.’


Does GOD Ever Speak through CATS?

God Cats

Cat: ‘Meow! Meow! Purr, purr, meow, hiss! MEOW! MEOW!’

Person: ‘Are you sure God? We already have 10 Commandments, do we really need an 11th?’



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I am the author of the satirical black comedy, Necropolis.


And the psychological thriller, Symbiosis.







Authors as Desserts III

This week we return to the topic of authors and the desserts that in my opinion their writing corresponds to. Here are 8 authors and their corresponding desserts.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Reading the iconic Russian author’s books is rewarding, but challenging.

Corresponding dessert: Gooey Butter Cake

Butter Cake

(Courtesy of Its Good To Be The Cook)

Rationale: Gooey butter cake may be delicious, but it is incredibly dense and requires a lot of chewing.


L. Ron Hubbard


The Scientology founder wrote numerous Sci-Fi and psychotherapy books.

Corresponding dessert: Waffle


(Courtesy of Heritage Radio Network)

Rationale: The content of Scientology’s doctrine.


Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Woolf favoured observations and interior monologue over plot. Themes in her writing include suicide.

Corresponding dessert: Depression Cake

Depression Cake

(Courtesy of Pinterest)

Rationale: Depression cake might look like a normal cake, but with little or no butter, eggs or milk it isn’t particularly appetising.


Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh

Themes in this legendary Scottish transgressive author’s writing include drugs and poverty.

Corresponding dessert: Deep-Fried Mars Bar

Deep Mars

(Courtesy of The Daily Mail)

Rationale: These treats might not be soft on the eye, and they are probably bad for you, but they taste good.


Guy Portman

Guy Portman

You may not have heard of Guy Portman, but you can take his word for it that he’s a talented author.

Corresponding dessert: Dark Chocolate Truffles with Clementine Zest


(Courtesy of My Tartelette)

Rationale: The zest is this exquisite delight’s pièce de résistance. It is surprising that this dessert is not more popular.


Yukio Mishima


Mishima was a staunch nationalist, and Japan’s most famous ever author.

Corresponding dessert: Daifuku (大福)


(Courtesy of Jap Pop)

Rationale: Daifuku is a traditional Japanese dessert that some Westerners enjoy.


Bret Easton Ellis


Easton Ellis is a master of social commentary. Much of his writing features vapid, soulless characters.

Corresponding dessert: Lemon Sorbet


(Courtesy of Dishmaps)

Rationale: This cold, astringent dessert isn’t for everyone. I rather like it.


Nora Roberts


Nora Roberts is one of the best-selling Romance authors of all time.

Corresponding dessert: Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding

(Courtesy of Home Farmer)

Rationale: The mere sight of this pink extravagance makes me feel quite queasy.

Click here to read Part II


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My 3 novels include the satirical, black comedy, Necropolis.



15 Bizarre Male Author Facts

Last week it was female authors. This week it’s the men’s turn. Here are 15 bizarre male author facts.

Pile of Books

Did you know that:

There is an asteroid named after Kurt Vonnegut.

Victor Hugo wrote The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Misérables in the nude. Hugo would order his valet to hide his clothes until after he had finished writing.

Only 10 people attended D. H. Lawrence’s funeral. 1 of them was Aldous Huxley.

Billy Wilder’s epitaph is – I’m a writer but then nobody’s perfect.

William Burroughs accidentally killed his partner Joan Vollmer by shooting her in the head.


On his marriage document in 1582, William Shakespeare’s name was spelled William Shagspeare.

American music critic and author Gustav Kobbé’s was out sailing when a seaplane misjudged its descent and struck his boat, killing him.

American playwright Tennessee Williams died from swallowing a bottle of eye drops.

In 1912 Ambrose Bierce invented 1 of the earliest emoticons, the snigger point, written as \ ___ /! It was designed to look like a smiling mouth.

Vladimir Nabokov had a ‘genitalia’ cabinet, in which he stored his collection of male butterfly genitalia.


Dr Seuss included the word ‘contraceptive’ in a draft of his children’s book Hop on Pop to make sure the publisher was concentrating.

On his deathbed when asked by the priest to renounce Satan, Voltaire allegedly said, ‘Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies.’

John Boyne claims to have written The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas in only 2 and a half days.

Henry David Thoreau’s last words were allegedly, ‘Moose. Indian.’ Perhaps not the most rational last words ever uttered, but apt, considering the subject matter of Thoreau’s writing.

Vladimir Nabokov had a fixation with index cards. The majority of his novels were written out on cards with a pencil. Nabokov also wrote standing up.


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I am the author of the satirical black comedy, Necropolis.



Bizarre Female Author Facts

This week’s blog post is devoted to Bizarre Female Author Facts. I haven’t forgotten about the men. It will be their turn next week.


Did you know that:

Modernist writer Katherine Mansfield wore a mourning dress to her own wedding.

Jane Austen never married, but she was engaged for 1 night. She accepted the proposal of marriage 2 weeks prior to her 27th birthday. Austen changed her mind the next day.

Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) lived next door to Mark Twain.

Agatha Christie came to have a strong disliking for her creation Hercule Poirot.

Dorothy Parker’s epitaph reads — Excuse my dust.

Agatha Christie

Jane Austen was the first person known to have used the word ‘outsider’.

Zadie Smith spent the best part of 2 years writing and rewriting the first 20 pages of her novel, On Beauty.

Romance author Ida Pollock is widely considered to be the World’s oldest ever author. She died aged 105, just weeks before her 125th book was published.

It took Helen Hooven Santmyer 50 years to pen And Ladies of the Club.

Virginia Woolf was the granddaughter of novelist William Makepeace Thackeray.

By her late 30s Emily Dickinson was so reclusive that she rarely left her house and spoke to visitors from the other side of her closed front door.

Emily Dickinson

Maya Angelou’s writing routine entailed travelling to a bare hotel room every morning, where she would write until about 2 p.m.

Agatha Christie’s favourite food was Devonshire Cream.

Helen Hoover Santymeyer was 88 when her seminal work And Ladies of the Club was published.

Dorothy Straight is on record as being the youngest published author ever. At the age of 4 she wrote a story for her grandmother, which went on to be published when she was 6.

Author and essayist Flannery O’Connor not only wrote at the same time every day, but also in the same place. That special place was facing her blank wood dresser, which provided no distractions.


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I am the author of the psychological thriller, Symbiosis.


Authors as Desserts II

2 weeks ago I wrote a blog post about authors and the desserts that in my opinion they/their writing corresponds to. Here is Part II.

Chuck Palahniuk


Palahniuk is a controversial, transgressive author whose writing is not for the fainthearted.

Corresponding dessert: Dirt Cake

Dirt cake

(Courtesy of Visions of Sugar Plum)

Rationale: This aptly named dessert is created by combining unusual, and some might argue unpalatable ingredients, including Oreo cookies, cream cheese and Gummy Worms.


George Orwell


Orwell was an iconic British author with socialist tendencies.

Corresponding dessert: Bread and Butter Pudding

bread and butter

(Courtesy of BBC Good Food)

Rationale: This simple, traditional British fare is popular with the masses.


Jackie Collins


Jackie Collins is one of the best-selling Romance authors of all time.

Corresponding dessert: Black Forest Gâteau

Black Forest Gateau

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Rationale: This decadent dessert leaves one feeling nauseous.


Haruki Murakami


Murakami is Japan’s most famous contemporary writer.

Corresponding dessert: Matcha (green tea)  Ice Cream

Green Tea

(Courtesy of Youtube)

Rationale: Westerners have enthusiastically embraced this distinctly Oriental flavour, presented in a familiar form.


Danielle Steele


Corresponding dessert: Cupcake

Cup Cake

(Courtesy of Esciencelog)

Rationale: A dollop of icing fails to disguise what is a meagre offering.


C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

The creator of The Chronicles of Narnia was a devout Christian.

Corresponding dessert: Hot Cross Bread and Butter Pudding


(Courtesy of Tesco)

Rationale: This variation on the hot cross bun is ideal fare to mark the end of Lent.


Bram Stoker


Irish author Bram Stoker is best remembered for his Gothic novel Dracula.

Corresponding dessert: Red Velvet Slaughter Cake

Red Velvet

(Courtesy of Huffington Post)

Rationale: Self-explanatory


Vladimir Nabokov


The intellectual Russian born Nabokov utilised an ornate prose style.

Corresponding dessert: Deconstructed S’more

Deconstructed Smores

(Courtesy of OC Foodies)

Rationale: This sophisticated, deconstructed extravagance contains caramelised vanilla marshmallow, soft salted caramel and chocolate-coated cereal garnishes.


Click here for Part III.


I am the author of the satirical, black comedy, Necropolis.


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Bizarre Book Trivia

Yesterday whilst whiling away some time on the internet I discovered some bizarre book trivia, which I thought might make a good foundation for a blog post. Here goes:



I was planning to read it, but considered the price (£20.95) prohibitive.  The reason for me choosing it (the title is too long to repeat) is because of Michael N. Marcus’s review in his book Stinkers:

  • Every letter in book capitalised
  • Ridden with grammatical errors
  • Ludicrous subject matter
  • Excessive price tag
  • Neurotic nature of its author

Most Offensive Book Title Ever: Helping The Retarded To Know God by H. R. Hahn & W. H. Raasch.


I imagine this book wasn’t welcomed with open arms even when it was published back in 1969. As for the question How does one help the retarded to know God? As no one to the best of my knowledge has ever known God, I can only assume it’s a challenge.

Book genres: Have you noticed how many genres and sub genres are around these days. Take Punk literature (related to punk subculture). There are 13 sub genres, in addition a host of tenuous ones. Punk’s official sub genres are: Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Biopunk, Bugpunk, Transistorpunk, Nanopunk, Decopunk, Atompunk, Teslapunk, Clockpunk, Splatterpunk & Mythpunk…

Here is an imaginary conversation:

Do you enjoy reading?
Me too. Which genres do you like?
Primarily Dieselpunk and Biopunk with a smattering of Transistorpunk.

According to wiki the Romance genre has 36 sub genres. Every man/woman to his/her tastes, but for me reading with 1 hand whilst holding a sick bucket with the other isn’t much fun.


A person who reads 50 Shades of Grey has no advantage over one who can’t read. — Guy Portman

The infestation of erotica/erotic romance titles means that it is extremely difficult for authors to come up with novel ideas, but I have one — Romeo & Juliet, the Asphyxiation Erotica version.

Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Romeo: Ghuahh! Ghuahh!
Juliet: O’ there art thou with a plastic bag thrust over thy head.

Fans of zoophilia-themed, BBW, paranormal shapeshifter romances might be interested in Hedging His Bets by Celia Kyle & Mina Carter. It is touted as the book that makes hedgehogs sexy.


Bad-boy Blake Carlisle is a big, badass biker with a secret — he’s a werehedgehog. It is obvious that Blake and Honey are meant to be together — because he loves rubenesque beauties and she loves hedgehogs .

Here’s an extract:  Plopping down on the floor, she opened the cage and lifted each of them out. She rolled around on the ground making yipping noises, mimicking them to the best of her ability, and just playing with the cute little things. … Who needed a man when she had hedgies?


I am the author of the satirical, black comedy Necropolis.

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8 Authors as Desserts

Have you ever thought that if so and so was a dessert they would be an apple strudel?

Whilst eating a slice of lemon tart at lunch today, I took to thinking about authors corresponding to desserts. This week’s post is devoted to 8 authors and the desserts that in my opinion they/their writing corresponds to.

John Steinbeck


Steinbeck was an iconic American author with socialist inclinations.

Corresponding dessert: Carrot Cake

carrotcake(Courtesy of Food Network)

Rationale: This modest and wholesome dessert is popular with the proletariat.


Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski

American poet and novelist Bukowski was known as the ‘laureate of American lowlife’.

Corresponding dessert: Baked apples with whiskey


Rationale: Not aesthetically pleasing and unsophisticated it may be, but it tastes good.


E. L. James


Erotica novelist E. L. James is one of the World’s best-selling authors.

Corresponding dessert: Cheesecake

cheese(Courtesy of Tennessee Cheesecake)

Rationale: Many, including yours truly, are of the opinion that cheese and cake should not be mixed.


Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter Thompson

The father of Gonzo journalism was a staunch patriot with an insatiable thirst.

Corresponding dessert: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

choc_pecan_pie(Courtesy of  Random Sweetness Baking)

Rationale: Self-explanatory.


Dan Brown


Brown has sold more than 200 million of his mystery/conspiracy novels.

Corresponding dessert: Ring-Shaped Donut

Doughnut(Courtesy of i food)

Rationale: These deep-fried treats are not only bad for the health, but they leave one feeling something’s missing.


Salman Rushdie


This Booker Prize winning author’s preferred genre is magic realism.

Corresponding dessert: Deconstructed Strawberry Falooda

Falooda2(Courtesy of Pinterest)

Rationale: This Indian dessert drink might not be soft on the eye, but it contains whole wheat vermicelli, gulkand preserve and is devoid of artificial colours.


Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

English crime novelist Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time.

Corresponding dessert: Tunnock’s Teacake

Tea Cake(Courtesy of the internet)

Rationale: One has to first unwrap the packaging and then bite through the outer layer to reveal what lies beneath.


Stephanie Meyer


Meyer is a young-adult fiction writer responsible for the vampire romance series Twilight.

Corresponding dessert: Sponge Cake

sponge cake

(Courtesy of Cogo Food)

Rationale: It might look like a cake, feel like a cake and smell like a cake, but on taking a bite one realises it’s mostly just air.


Click here to read Part II.

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My Favourite Books I

This week’s blog post is dedicated to 6 books that I would recommend. The choices reflect my eclectic reading tastes. Click on the links to read my reviews.


The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar

Protagonist Esther Greenwood’s year in the ‘bell jar’ as she describes it, culminates in her being institutionalised in a mental health facility. This erudite and humorous semi-autobiographical novel adeptly explores an emotionally disturbed mind. Click here to read my review.

Genre: Semi-Autobiographical


One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is a former POW serving a 10 year term in a Gulag on the Kazakh steppe for being a spy. He is innocent. The book chronicles a single day of his existence, beginning with a 5 a.m. reveille. Our protagonist, having been deemed not to have risen from bed on time…(more)

Type: Novella


The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth


Joseph Roth’s most famous and acclaimed novel is in essence a meditation on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The author successfully captures the pomp, pageantry and formality of the dwindling years of the Habsburg dynasty. The story follows three generations of the Trottas(more)

Genre: Foreign-Language Classic


Post Office by Charles Bukowski

Post Office

This darkly humorous, semi-autobiographical work is about Charles Bukowski’s years spent working for the United States Postal Service. It describes the banality, dehumanisation and hardship of unskilled drudgery. Henry Chinaski is a heavy drinking, womanising, race track frequenting low-life…(more)

Genre: Transgressive


Necropolis by Guy Portman


Dyson Devereux works in the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council. Dyson is intelligent, incisive and informed. He is also a sociopath. Necropolis is a savage indictment of the politically correct world in which we live. ‘The book is full of razor-sharp satire.’…(more) Crime Fiction Lover (Britain’s Biggest Crime Fiction review website)

Genre: Black Comedy


Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

Helter Skelter

Helter Skelter is a very detailed, six hundred and sixty page true crime classic, complete with photographs, that leaves the reader feeling that they have lived through the Charles Manson murder trial. The book provides an insight into the mind of a cult leader, his followers and the workings of the California legal system of the time…(more)

Genre: True Crime


I hope you enjoyed this post. There are likely to be further instalments at some point in the not too distant future.

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7 Dystopian Novels

As I have read a fair bit of dystopian literature of late, I am devoting this week’s blog post to the subject.

Definition: Dystopian literature is a genre of fictional writing used to explore social and political structures in ‘a dark, nightmare world.’…(more)

Here are 7 dystopian novels by 7 different authors, all of which I have read. They are presented in chronological order.


The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (1895)

The Time Machine

H. G. Wells’s seminal work is about a man who builds himself a time machine, and then travels over 800,000 years into the future. At first it appears this world is a wonderful place, but the Traveller soon discovers that there is a sinister, hidden subterranean class. This bestseller is credited with launching the time-travel genre.

My Review: N/A

Rating: Good

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

Brave New World

Brave New World utilises erudite social commentary to explore mankind’s inherent nature. Huxley’s portentous vision has proven to be prescient in its prediction of a science-controlled, consumer culture.

My Review: Brave New World is set in a society where everything is controlled. The parentless, manufactured, free-loving population are dependent on a state-endorsed hallucinogenic, happiness drug called Soma. Helicopters serve as the primary mode of transport. Entertainment takes…(more)

My Rating: Good


1984 by George Orwell (1949)


This dystopian classic is set in a world of constant war, government surveillance and manipulation. The novel’s protagonist works for the Ministry of Truth, which is responsible for historical revisionism and propaganda. 1984 warns of totalitarian censorship. It has been viewed as controversial since its publication due to its themes of nationalism and censorship.

My Review: N/A

My Rating: Excellent


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)

Fahrenheit 451

There is much to ponder in this satirical book whose motif is a warning about the threat posed by state censorship. Bradbury’s seminal work predicts our increasing obsession with mass media.

My Review: Books are banned in this dystopian world, where firemen are employed to burn them. Guy Montag is a fireman, who lives an unfulfilling existence with Mildred, his sedentary, parlour-consuming wife: parlours being an in-house form of entertainment…(more)

My Rating: Quite Good


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange is a controversial book whose themes include behaviourism, free will and the role of the state. It employs an imaginary teenage dialect called ‘nadsat’.

My Review: Alex is an eccentric 15-year-old delinquent with a penchant for classical music and drinking milk. He and his fellow ‘droogs’ assault, rob and rape with impunity, that is until a serious incident sees him arrested and incarcerated…(more)

My Rating: Good


The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick (1962)

Man in High Castle

This alternative history dystopia is set in a world in which the allies lost The War. It is a somewhat chaotic work containing many intrigues.

My Review: After the allies lost World War II America was divided in half. The Germans occupied the east, the Japanese the west. It is now 1962. Robert Childan is the owner of an Americana antiques shop in San Francisco…(more)

My Rating: Okay but convoluted.


High-Rise by J. G. Ballard (1975)


High-Rise is a tale about how the social order can fragment. Tense, bleak and satirical, it explores the connection between technology and the human condition.

My Review: Set in an apartment tower block in London, High-Rise is a dystopian tale about the intense animosity that develops between the building’s various floors. The story centres around three main characters – Robert Laing, an instructor at…(more)

My Rating: Quite Good


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