1
Sepultura Blurb Reveal
2
6 Books with Morbid Subject Matters
3
Necropolis is on Sale
4
10 Works of Transgressive Fiction
5
Necropolis Has A New Blurb
6
13 Baffling Book Titles
7
Sociopaths in Literature
8
13 Bewildering Book Titles
9
20 Bizarre Author-Related Facts
10
Authors As Desserts VI

Sepultura Blurb Reveal

My fourth novel, Sepultura, is being released on January 11th. It is the sequel to my satirical black comedy, Necropolis. Today, I am pleased to reveal Sepultura’s blurb:

 

A sociopath can only keep up a façade for so long.

Dyson Devereux is a busy man, with a challenging new job at Paleham Council and a young son. He would be coping just fine were it not for crass colleagues, banal bureaucracy and contemptible clothes. He is not going to take it lying down.

Because beneath Dyson’s charming, Italian delicacy-consuming veneer lurks something sinister. As his personal and professional lives threaten to spiral out of control, will Dyson’s true nature be revealed?

Compulsive and brimming with satirical wit, Sepultura is a caustic black comedy featuring an unforgettable sociopath.

“My kind of black comedy. You’ll either love Dyson, or love to hate him” Sandra Seymour, Author of Breed: Slayer

“A satirical gem” — Reader

“Sociopathic comedy at its best” — Adam Riley, Comedian

Sepultura’s front cover will be unveiled next week.

6 Books with Morbid Subject Matters

This week’s blog post is dedicated to six books with morbid subject matters. Five of them are Fiction and one is non-Fiction. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842)

Dead Souls is an uncompleted, satirical novel that parodies Imperial Russia and provincial Russian life. Targets for ridicule include the gentry and rural officials.

My Review: Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov is travelling around provincial Russia, visiting landowners. His purpose is to purchase papers relating to their serfs who have died since the last census. By doing so Chichikov relieves…(more)

My Opinion: Ponderous and turgid

 

The Plague by Albert Camus (1947)

The Plague is an existentialist classic that evaluates morality, the role of God and how we react to death. Its narrative tone and poetic prose style will appeal to some.

My Review: In the Algerian coastal town of Oran, an explosion in the rat population has not gone unnoticed. The infestation soon comes to an abrupt halt with the mysterious demise of the rats. When the townsfolk…(more)

My Opinion: Okay

 

Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1966)

Set in the post-Stalin era, Cancer Ward is an allegorical, semi-autobiographical novel, in which the cancer ward serves as a microcosm of Soviet society.

My Review: Oleg Kostoglotov, whose last name translates as ‘bone-chewer’, has been exiled in perpetuity to a village by the name of Ush-Terek, located on the steppe in Kazakhstan, a long way from home…(more)

My Opinion: Depressing but good

 

Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (2006)

A sense of doom and despair permeates this somewhat disparate assemblage whose cynicism, dark humour and tormented, fin-de-siécle tone appealed to this reader.

My Review: The book, which is divided into four parts, begins with the sinister tale Rashōmon. Set during the Heian era (11th century) it sees a confrontation between an unemployed servant and an old woman…(more)

My Opinion: A worthwhile read

 

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (2003)

The author applies a light approach to explore a taboo subject matter. This book will intrigue those with a healthy interest in the macabre.

My Review: This non-fiction work investigates the more unfamiliar scenarios involving our dead bodies. Topics include human crash test cadavers, bullet-testing cadavers, and the virtually all-encompassing…(more)

My Opinion: Interesting for the most part

 

Pure by Andrew Miller (2011)

Those readers anticipating a tale of the sinister and macabre may well find themselves disappointed by the Costa 2011 prize winner.

My Review: Paris’s oldest cemetery, Les Innocents, is overflowing. The city’s deceased have been piled in there for years, resulting in the surrounding area being permanently permeated by a fetid…(more)

My Opinion: Overrated

 

Click here to sign up to my monthly book-related newsletter.

Necropolis is on Sale

My satirical black comedy Necropolis is only 99c/99p at all major retailers this weekend.

With Necropolis’s sequel Sepultura being released on January 11th, I thought this an opportune moment for a sale. And it coincides with Black Friday.

What is a sociopath to do?

Dyson Devereux’s life appears to be on track. He has a way with the ladies, impeccable good taste, and as the recently promoted head of Burials and Cemeteries at Newton Borough Council, a job that demands respect.

But Dyson is becoming annoyed with his drug-addled girlfriend’s decline, fed up with his banal work colleagues, and incensed by Newton New Cemetery’s gaudy memorial structures.

When Dyson suspects someone of having a darker past than him, he has a chance for redemption. Will he seize it, or is his destiny to be a life of toil in Burials and Cemeteries?

Brutal, bleak and darkly comical, Necropolis is a savage indictment of the politically correct, health and safety obsessed public sector.

‘… a magnificent foray into the mind of a sociopath’ – DLS Reviews

‘The book is full of razor-sharp satire’ – Crime Fiction Lover

‘… a mix between The Office and American Psycho’ – Amazon Reviewer

Here are Necropolis’s 99c/99p Sale links: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Kobo USA, Kobo UK, Barnes & Noble & other major retailers.

The price will be returning to $3.14/£2.35 on Monday.

Click here to see Necropolis’s 48 reviews/ratings on Goodreads. Necropolis is also available in paperback.

Have a good weekend.

10 Works of Transgressive Fiction

This week’s post is devoted to ten works of Transgressive Fiction by ten different authors. Click on the links to read the reviews.

Definition: Transgressive Fiction is a genre that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual and/or illicit ways.

The following books are presented in chronological order:

 

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (1934)

Tropic of Cancer

About: Sexuality, freedom and the human condition are themes in this groundbreaking semi-autobiographical account.

My Review: Set in the late 1920s and early 30s, Tropic of Cancer is a semi-autobiographical first-person account of a young, struggling American writer living in Paris, and for a short period Le Havre. His is a seedy existence, characterised by a shortage of money…(more)

 

Novel with Cocaine by M. Ageyev (1934)

Novel with Cocaine

About: Novel with Cocaine is a nihilistic and philosophical novel about adolescence and addiction that could be described as Dostoyevskian.

My Review: Set in the years immediately before and after the Russian Revolution, Novel with Cocaine follows the life of Vadim, a Moscow adolescent and student. Vadim is prone to self-loathing and disdainful of others, none more so than his mother, whose…(more)

 

Junky by William S. Burroughs (1953)

About: Junky is a record of its protagonist’s drug abuse that in addition to heroin includes a plethora of other substances.

My Review: Set in 1950s America and Mexico, Junky is a confessional novella about drug addiction. Its protagonist Bill Lee chronicles his drug-centred existence, which entails searching for his daily fix, scoring, and intravenous drug consumption…(more)

 

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)

Lolita

AboutThe story is about a man named Humbert Humbert, who falls in love with a twelve-year-old girl, Lolita, the daughter of his landlady.

My Review: The protagonist, Humbert Humbert, is an intellectual with an all-consuming craving for young girls, or nymphets as he refers to them.  After his wife leaves him for another man, Humbert Humbert becomes a live-in tutor for the Hazes, a family consisting of a…(more)

 

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

About: First published in 1962, A Clockwork Orange is a ground-breaking and controversial book with an intriguing and intelligent narrator. 

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. Our anti-hero is anticipating…(more)

 

Pop.1280 by Jim Thompson (1964)

About: Pop.1280 is a first person work of noir fiction set in a sordid, rural Texas backwater. It is written in the author’s trademark stark, pulp prose style.   

My Review: Sheriff Nick Corey’s problems are mounting. There are the troublesome pimps, the nagging wife and mistress, and the forthcoming election that could see him replaced as sheriff. Intent on avoiding conflict at all costs, the seemingly slow-witted and…(more)

 

Post Office by Charles Bukowski (1971)

About: Utilising a brutal, blunt and fast-paced narrative, this  iconic work is about the banality, hardship and dehumanisation of unskilled drudgery.

My Review: Henry Chinaski is a heavy drinking, womanising, race track frequenting low-life, who works at the post office. The story follows his menial existence of twelve-hour night shifts, sorting post, delivering mail, observing his fellow colleagues and facing countless…(more)

 

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis (1985)

About: Less Than Zero is about a privileged group of L.A. youngsters, who appear on the surface to have an idealistic life, but in reality live unrewarding existences.

My Review: Set in nineteen-eighties Los Angeles, the story follows eighteen-year-old Clay, returned home for Christmas from college in New Hampshire. Clay immediately falls back into the L.A. social scene, spending his time hanging-out with various wealthy teenagers…(more)

 

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (2001)

About: Choke is in essence a social commentary about our innate craving for attention and the fundamental nature of addiction. The book utilises an episodic narrative.

My Review: The protagonist, Victor Mancini, is a sex addict employed at an eighteenth-century historical re-enactment park. Victor attends various sexual addiction support groups, where he meets many of his sex partners. It was at one…(more)

 

Necropolis by Guy Portman (2014)

About: Brutal, bleak and darkly comical, Necropolis is a savage indictment of the politically correct, health and safety obsessed public sector. Its sequel, Sepultura, is due for release in January.

Review: Dyson Devereux’s life appears to be on track. He has a way with the ladies, impeccable good taste, and as the recently promoted head of Burials and Cemeteries at Newton Borough Council, a job that demands respect. But Dyson is becoming annoyed with his drug-addled…(more)

 

Click here to sign up to my monthly book-related newsletter.

Necropolis Has A New Blurb

My fourth novel, Sepultura, is being released on January 11th. It is the sequel to the satirical black comedy, Necropolis. Today, I am pleased to share with you Necropolis’s new blurb. I believe it is a better representation of the book than the old one. I hope you like it.

 

What is a sociopath to do?

Dyson Devereux’s life appears to be on track. He has a way with the ladies, impeccable good taste, and as the recently promoted head of Burials and Cemeteries at Newton Borough Council, a job that demands respect.

But Dyson is becoming annoyed with his drug-addled girlfriend’s decline, fed up with his banal work colleagues, and incensed by Newton New Cemetery’s gaudy memorial structures.

When Dyson suspects someone of having a darker past than him, he has a chance for redemption. Will he seize it, or is his destiny to be a life of toil in Burials and Cemeteries?

Brutal, bleak and darkly comical, Necropolis is a savage indictment of the politically correct, health and safety obsessed public sector.

‘… a magnificent foray into the mind of a sociopath’ – DLS Reviews

‘The book is full of razor-sharp satire’ – Crime Fiction Lover

‘… a mix between The Office and American Psycho’ – Amazon Reviewer

Click here to see the reviews and ratings for Necropolis on Goodreads.

 

13 Baffling Book Titles

This week sees the second instalment in my bewildering/baffling book titles series. Here are 13 baffling book titles. Click on the links to learn more about them.

 

How To Pray When You’re Pissed At God

 

Knitted Meerkats

 

Are Women Human?

 

My Parents Open Carry

 

Scouting for Boys

 

277 Secrets Your Snake (And Lizard) Wants You To Know

 

How to Be Happy Though Married

 

Cheese Problems Solved

 

Enjoy Your Pigeons

 

Old Age Its Cause and Prevention

 

Your Three-Year-Old: Friend Or Enemy

 

How To Train Goldfish Using Dolphin Training Techniques

 

How To Become A Schizophrenic

 

I hope you found these titles mildly amusing. Click here to sign up to my monthly book-related newsletter.

Sociopaths in Literature

This week’s blog post is devoted to sociopaths and psychopaths in literature. Click here to discover the differences between the two. Sociopaths and psychopaths have long fascinated us. One of the reasons for this is that we wonder what we could accomplish if we were not burdened by that obstacle that is a conscience.

There are numerous examples of sociopathic personalities in literature. These include:

The Prince (1532) by Niccolò Machiavelli — the reader is urged to be sociopathic

Othello (1603) by Shakespeare — the character Iago

Macbeth (1606) by Shakespeare — Macbeth

Persuasion (1817) by Jane Austen — Mr. Elliot

Vanity Fair (1848) by William Thackeray — Becky Sharp

East of Eden (1952) by John Steinbeck — Cathy

Here are some books with sociopathic/psychopathic protagonists that I have reviewed, and one that I have written.

 

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess 

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…(more)

 

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson 

My Review: Twenty-nine-year-old Lou Ford is a Deputy Sheriff from the West Texas town of Central City. Lou is a hard-working and simple character with a fondness for clichés…(more)

 

POP.1280 by Jim Thompson

My Review: Sheriff Nick Corey’s problems are mounting. There are the troublesome pimps, the nagging wife and mistress, and the forthcoming election that could see him replaced…(more)

 

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis 

My Review: American Psycho is a highly controversial novel that brought its author Bret Easton Ellis instant fame. The book is written from the perspective of a young Wall Street financier…(more)

 

Necropolis by Guy Portman

Dyson Devereux’s life appears to be on track. He has a way with the ladies, impeccable good taste, and as the recently promoted head of Burials and Cemeteries…(more) 

Necropolis’s sequel, Sepultura, is due for release in January.

 

Click here to sign up to my monthly book-related newsletter.

13 Bewildering Book Titles

I have dedicated numerous blog posts to the topic that is bizarre books. Now it is the turn of bewildering book titles. Here are 13 bewildering book titles.

 

The Stray Shopping Carts Of Eastern North America

 

English Smocks

 

Pornogami

 

Bowl Better Using Self-Hypnosis

 

The Art of Faking Exhibition Poultry

 

Ruby Ann’s Down Home Trailer Park Cookbook

 

Crafting With Cat Hair

 

Jewish Chess Masters on Stamps

 

Snow Caves for Fun and Survival

 

An Arsonist’s Guide To Writers’ Homes In New England

 

What Bird Did That?

 

The Original Road Kill Cookbook

 

The Mullet: Hairstyle of the Gods

 

There will be a second instalment at some point.

Click here to sign up to my monthly book-related newsletter.

20 Bizarre Author-Related Facts

In recent years I have dedicated a number of blog posts to the topic of bizarre author-related trivia. Here are 20 of the most bizarre author facts I have come across to date.

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

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

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

There is an asteroid named after Kurt Vonnegut.

J.R.R. Tolkien typed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy with two fingers.

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

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

Dan Brown is a fan of inversion therapy He often hangs upside down in antigravity boots because he claims it helps him relax.

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

ELIYZABETH YANNE STRONG-ANDERSON is the author of Birth Control Is Sinful in the Christian Marriages and Also Robbing God of Priesthood. Every letter in the book capitalised.

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

John Steinbeck — Steinbeck was obsessed with pencils, particularly Blackwing 602’s.

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

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

Dorothy Parker’s epitaph reads, Excuse my dust

Victor T. Cheney is the author of Castration: The Advantages and the Disadvantages.

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

Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables contains a sentence that is 823 words long.

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.

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

 

Click here to sign-up to my monthly book-related newsletter.

 

 

Authors As Desserts VI

This week I have been hard at work on my fourth novel, Sepultura. It is the sequel to my black comedy, Necropolis.

I have also written the sixth instalment in my series; authors and the desserts that in my opinion they/their writing corresponds to. Here are 8 authors and their corresponding desserts.

 

James Patterson

Patterson is one of the best-selling authors of all time.

Corresponding dessert: Vanilla ice-cream

Rationale: Vanilla ice-cream might not be the most enthralling dessert in the world, but many of us eat it all the same.

 

Emily Dickinson

This prolific American poet and recluse had a penchant for baking.

Corresponding dessert: Hermit Cookies

 

Paulo Coelho 

Coelho is the best-selling Portuguese language author of all time.

Corresponding dessert: Pastel de nata

Rationale: This egg tart pastry dessert is extremely popular throughout the Portuguese-speaking world.

 

Helen Fielding

Chick lit author Fielding penned Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Corresponding dessert: Pink Cupcakes

Rationale: Pink cupcakes are so pretty you almost don’t want to eat them.

 

Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson is one of the greatest ‘pulp’ authors of all time.

Corresponding dessert: Mango Pulp

Rationale: This dessert might be pulp but it tastes sweet.

 

Charles Dickens

Harrowing realism was the order of the day for England’s greatest ever author.

Corresponding dessert: Dessert porridge

 

Thomas Hardy

Hardy was an English novelist and poet best known for Tess of the d’Ubervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.

Corresponding dessert: Black Rice Pudding

Rationale: This dessert might be unabated in its blackness but it tastes good.

 

   Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter’s seven best-sellers include Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right and If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans.

Corresponding dessert: Cobblers

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015. Guyportman's Blog

%d bloggers like this: