December 23, 1787, Portsmouth: A 14-year-old boy, John Jacob Turnstile, has got into trouble with the police on one too many occasions and is on his way to prison when an offer is put to him – a ship has been refitted over the last few months and is about to set sail with an important mission. The boy who was expected to serve as the captain’s personal valet has been injured and a replacement must be found immediately. The deal is struck and he finds himself onboard, meeting the captain, just as the ship sets sail. The ship is HMS Bounty, the captain is William Bligh, and their destination is Tahiti. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is the first novel to explore all the events relating to the Bounty’s voyage, from their long journey across the ocean to their adventures on the island of Tahiti and the subsequent 48-day expedition towards Timor. A vivid recreation of the famous mutiny, the story is packed with humour, violence and historical detail, while presenting a very different portrait of Captain Bligh and Mr Christian than has ever been shown before.A mouth-watering prospect, indeed – expect something akin to William Golding’s RITES OF PASSAGE, people. The big question to be resolved, of course, is who actually commits the most heinous crime: Bligh, Christian or the moron who decided to yank the coconut-flavoured Bounty bar off US shelves all those years ago?
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Master And Demander
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY author John Boyne (right) rarely makes it easy for himself when blending crime tropes to his epic narratives: THE THIEF OF TIME concerns itself with a man who has stopped ageing, CRIPPEN is self-explanatory, while THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS plays out against the backdrop of the greatest crime of the 20th century. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (aka THE KING’S SHILLING) is due in May, with the blurb elves pontificating thusly: