Friday, 4 August 2017

Dead Writers in Rehab by Paul Bassett Davies @thewritertype @unbounders

When literary reprobate Foster James wakes up in a strange country house, he assumes he's been consigned to rehab (yet again) by his dwindling band of friends and growing collection of ex-wives. 

But he soon realises there's something a bit different about this place after he gets punched in the face by Ernest Hemingway.

Is Foster dead? Has his less-than-saintly existence finally caught up with him? After an acrimonious group therapy session with Hunter S Thompson, Colette, William Burroughs, and Coleridge, it seems pretty likely. But he still feels alive, especially after an up-close and personal one-on-one session with Dorothy Parker.

When he discovers that the two enigmatic doctors who run the institution are being torn apart by a thwarted love affair, he and the other writers must work together to save something that, for once, is bigger than their own gigantic egos.

This is a love story. It's for anyone who loves writing and writers. It's also a story about the strange and terrible love affair between creativity and addiction, told by a charming, selfish bastard who finally confronts his demons in a place that's part Priory, part Purgatory, and where the wildest fiction can tell the soberest truth.

Dead Writers in Rehab by Paul Bassett Davies was published by Unbound on 4 May 2017

So, here's a book that defies any form of categorisation, in fact it would just sit on a shelf all of its own in the bookshop, probably labelled 'one of a kind'.

I like strange, and I like different and I have a sense of humour that my friends describe as weird, in fact some of my friends describe it as sick.  I like humour that makes me think and is clever. I don't like slapstick, I like The League of Gentlemen, and I really really like this book!

It's a mash-up of many voices; all of them very familiar to any book lover. We have Dorothy Parker alongside Ernest Hemingway amongst others, and these are all glued together by the author's own distinctive, and very insightful own voice.

Foster James wakes up in rehab. He's something of a lush, with a history of hard living that is now his downfall. However, this is no ordinary rehab clinic, this placed is populated by some of the greatest living authors of all times. Yes, they're dead, but so what?  This author has taken each one of them and imagined their therapy journey, step by step. The humour is incessant, but there's also a whole lot of serious stuff woven into this story and at its heart, it's a story of people, and love and joy.

Dead Writers in Rehab kept me company whilst travelling and was the perfect anecdote to being stuck on a rainy A1 behind queues of lorries whilst the bloke tapped impatiently on the steering wheel muttering profanities!  If you like quirky, and strangely funny and excellent writing, you will adore this one.

Writer, director and actor Paul Bassett Davies founded Crystal Theatre whose pioneering multimedia work was acclaimed in Britain and Europe. He then created a series of one-man shows, two of which were Comedy Award finalists at the Edinburgh Festival fringe, while others were innovative theatrical events.
In television and radio Paul's credits include Alas Smith and JonesSpitting Image; Rory Bremner; Jasper Carrot and many more. He created a BBC radio sitcom with Jeremy Hardy, and produced the Sony Award winning show Do Go On, with Griff Rhys Jones and Graeme Garden. His radio plays have starred Bill Nighy, David Hemmings, and Alison Steadman. He has written music videos for Kate Bush and Ken Russell. He once worked with Spike Milligan, twice.
He wrote the screenplay for the feature animation film The Magic Roundabout (starring Joanna Lumley and Sir Ian McKellen), and has been working on a film about counter-culture comic book heroes The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, with their creator, comic legend Gilbert Shelton. He has also written and directed award-winning short films.
Paul's first novel Utter Folly ("A very funny novel" – Jack Dee) spent many weeks at the top of Amazon's Humorous Fiction chart when it was published in 2012, and was optioned for television. 

Several of Paul’s short stories have been published and met with critical acclaim. His story The Spots was shortlisted for The Stephen King competition launched by Hodder in October 2015.
In April 2011 he was Creative Director of the London Comedy Writers Festival. He is also a director of Euroscript Ltd and runs workshops with the company.
His sitcom Reception was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in September/October 2013.
Paul has also been a minicab driver, a DJ in a strip club and a welder's mate. He was the vocalist in the punk band Shoes for Industry (John Peel favourites).

His new novel, Dead Writers in Rehab, was published by Unbound in May 2017.

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