‘I was moved to tears by the beauty of the prose’ Martin Amis
‘If there’s been a better book than this all year, I’ve yet to see it’ Kazuo Ishiguro
‘Where did I put my reading glasses?’ JK Rowling
These are some of the things our leading writers have said about other books (except the last one, which somehow slipped in) and may well do about my latest publication:
The whole November the 5th business is often thought of as a secret plot conceived by Guy Fawkes and other shadowy figures, foiled at the last minute just before Fawkes was about to ignite barrels of gunpowder beneath Parliament. The problem is, this story is full of holes.
Guy Fawkes was merely a hired hand, brought in because of explosives knowledge gained in the military. (I heard a discussion on the radio yesterday about whether he should be called ‘Guy’ or ‘Guido’. He was christened Guy but adopted, or was given, the name Guido while serving abroad as a mercenary and stuck with it.)
The real leaders of the plot, headed by Robert Catesby, weren’t shadowy at all but were well known figures in London, mostly wealthy gentlemen, with some even having positions at court. Not only that, but many of them had previously been convicted in connection with a previous plot, so were on the radar of the government’s very efficient and far -reaching spy network. The idea that they could have been not only plotting in secret for many months but actually digging a tunnel from a house next door to the House of Lords building, hacking away at its foundations with pickaxes in a busy, crowded part of old Westminster, is hard to credit. Not to mention the fact that there is no record of anyone ever having seen, blocked off or filled in this alleged tunnel – not at the time nor since, during which time the whole area has been excavated and rebuilt. The only mention of it was from a couple of plotters, during the course of being tortured and signing confessions which themselves show signs of having been doctored.
These and many other suspicious anomalies you will read about when you buy the book!