Malcolm George Galbraith is a large, somewhat clumsy, Scotsman. He’s being forced to leave the woman he loves behind and needs to explain why.
So he leaves her a handwritten note on the kitchen table (well, more a 300-page letter than a note). In it, Malcolm decides to start from the beginning and tell the whole story of his long life, something he’s never dared do before.
Because Malcolm isn’t what he seems: he’s had other names and lived in other places. A lot of other places. As it gathers pace, Malcolm’s story combines tragedy, comedy, mystery, a touch of leprosy, several murders, a massacre, a ritual sacrifice, an insane tyrant, two great romances, a landslide, a fire, and a talking fish.
First of all lets start with what an amazing achievement Andy Hamilton has made by is handwriting every page of this book in neat italics in a bid to save handwriting, It really added to my reading experience and was definitely worth the 43 pens it took him to do!
On to the story line, I have to say it was not at all what I was expecting at all but I was pleasantly surprised at the story that unfolded. From this synopsis I expected this to be a modern day murder mystery type trail but it was actually the story of Heracles, written in first person, as a goodbye/explanation letter to his wife. Had I been up on my historical references. like my friend Jes, then apparently its very obvious as each of the events in the synopsis denote an famous story about Heracles!
This was a humours look into the life of a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus, know for his strength and his numerous far-ranging adventures. I really liked the aspect of him writing this to his wife as you get little apologies and reasoning’s for his behaviour through out and particularly enjoyed the ‘nearest English equivalent translations’, my favourite being ‘penis-harbour’.
Overall I think this is a fun spin on the antics of Heracles and will hopefully encourage people to learn more and re-invoke the love of handwriting!
Thank you to @unbounders & @randomttours for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Andy Hamilton is a comedy writer, performer and director. He regularly appears on the BBC TV panel shows Have I Got News for You and on Radio 4’s News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. His television writing credits include Outnumbered, Drop the Dead Donkey, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Trevor’s World of Sport, Ballot Monkeys, Power Monkeys and many others. He also cocreated the movie What We Did On Our Holiday. For twenty years he has played Satan in the Radio 4 comedy Old Harry’s Game, which he also writes.