Hi folks, you may recall that for the last couple of years, we have been involved with World Book Night, which encourages people to read by the wonderful process of giving away brilliant books for free.
Well, we're at it again. This year, out of the twenty titles available, I chose to give away copies of Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair.
However, in keeping with our previous efforts, we will also be giving away other goodies too. Over the next few weeks, I will be introducing them. Here's the first; Skallagrigg by William Horwood.
This is my all-time favourite book. It's not a fantasy novel, but it has an invented mythology within it. It challenges you to face up to facts of life that are extremely uncomfortable. What would you do if you suddenly found you were the father of a cerebral palsied baby and that the child's severe handicap was due to the car accident that also killed your wife?
The threads in this book are woven together with such care and skill that you not only find you are able to follow Esther Marquand's life in various care homes and schools, but that you also want to. You want to help her along, cheer her on and doff a cap to her when she achieves something amazing.
I love Tolkein's Lord of the Rings. When Frodo leaves Middle Earth at the end of the book, I will cry rivers for him. Esther Marquand is different. My emotions for her are nowhere near as primal. However, for a middle-aged man with no severe handicap to find himself identifying with a frustrated, heavily cerebral palsied young girl (and later, young lady), that indicates writing of the highest calibre.
Don't just take my word for it, though - here's a great blog about it.
Skallagrigg is going to be one of the prizes for one lucky person in our free draw. Since it's been out of print for a long time, the copy on offer is not of the highest quality, but it's readable and won't fall apart on you.
That's it for this time - next week, I shall reveal one of the other prizes that will be up for grabs.