Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of ATTEND by West Camel.
I would like to say that it is truly my pleasure to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Anne Cater, Orenda Books and of course West Camel who gifted me an early copy of ATTEND. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.
To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;
A mesmerising debut novel with echoes of Armistead Maupin and a hint of magic realism…
‘If Armistead Maupin were to write about a diverse group of friends in Deptford, the results might resemble this … You’ll miss these characters when they’re gone’ Paul Burston
Under their feet lies magic…
When Sam falls in love with South London thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, the mysterious world that lies beneath their feet and, ultimately, the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin and a hint of magic realism, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.
So, want to know what I thought?;
WOWSERS! I was not expecting that. At all. I’m not really quite sure what I was expecting….but that wasn’t it. This book has taken my head and flung in all directions. ATTEND is unlike any book I have read before and I’m thankful for that as it meant I stopped trying to work out the story in advance and I was able to read and enjoy without prejudice.
The story is told from three very different perspectives (Anne, Sam and Deborah), with insight into Deborah’s life through flashbacks. Both Anne and Sam, handling their own crap life has thrown their way are bought together by Deborah and together they start a journey on self discovery and eventually happiness. All of which may sound rather cliche I know, but West has been able to write these characters and this story with such finesse that you soon forget you are reading a work of fiction.
If you are looking for something COMPLETELY different that hurts your head (in the best possible way!!) then ATTEND is the book for you! If this is West’s first novel, then I am excited to see what he releases next!
About West Camel;
Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda Books with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghost-writing a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the
European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres,
A highly anticipated debut, blending the magical realism of Angela Carter and the gritty authenticity of Eastenders and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel..
You can buy ATTEND from the following booksellers (as always – be sure to support your local bookseller!!);
Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!