#BlogTour NICK by MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH #BookReview #NickNovel @noexitpress @michael_f_smith

Delighted to be with you today to share my review for the forthcoming release of NICK by MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH.  My thanks to the author and the publishers for letting me be part of this wonderful Blog Tour, and I hope you’re just as excited for the release of this book as I am!

ABOUT THE BOOK

This rich and imaginative novel from critically acclaimed author Michael Farris Smith breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. 


Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story – one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I. Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed first-hand, Nick embarks on a redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance – doomed from the very beginning – to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery and violence. 


An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, Nick reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.

‘NICK is so pitch-perfect, so rich in character and action, so remarkable a combination of elegance and passion, so striking in felt originality that I am almost tempted to say – book gods forgive me – that The Great Gatsby will forever feel like NICK’s splendid but somewhat paler sequel. Almost tempted to say. But I have no intention of taking back the sincere passing thought of it. Michael Farris Smith’s book is that good’ Robert Olen Butler 


2021 WILL MARK 125TH ANNIVERSARY OF F. SCOTT FITZGERALD’S BIRTH


PUBLISHED BY No Exit Press


PRE-ORDER LINKS


Publisher Website

hive.co.uk

blackwell’s

On release day itself, there will be a virtal book launch that you’re all invited to! And it’s free!! Just click on the link below and get yourself signed up! Look forward to seeing you there!!


Book Launch Sign Up



MY REVIEW


Ever wondered about a character in a book and their life before that story came to be?!  Well in this stunning story, the character of Nick, of whom we learn so little about in The Great Gatsby as he’s there to talk about others, is pushed to the fore and what a story he has to tell of his own!!

This explores the life of Nick Carraway before he came to be the narrator in the world of West Egg and Gatsby.  And it sees him in the trenches in World War I and how that whole experience shapes the young men sent to fight.  The sights they had to witness, the decisions they had to make in the name of war, and how that affected their mind and outlook on life.Life in the trenches is portrayed in stark brutality here, which really just gets you.  The despair, the pointlessness, the horror witnessed day in and day out. Would today be their last day? And they’d get brief respites with leave when Nick would wander the streets of Paris desperate to find some normality, some meaning – some hope to cling on to.

  He feels so disconnected from the world he finds himself living in and that feeling continues with him when he returns to the United States, as prohibition time begins.The nightmares don’t stop for him and I found his journey to be so harrowing.  He was just looking for a connection with something or someone so he’d find himself staying in various places, becoming involved in the drama of other people and never really feeling a peace.

Reading this has made me want to relive the Great Gatsby experience, and I think the author has done an amazing job of giving this character the backstory he deserves!


★★★★★

#PromoPost NICK by MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH #nicknovel #NickCarraway #TheGreatGatsby @noexitpress @michael_f_smith

Delighted to be part of the ‘Nick’ promo Blitz today on behalf of NO EXIT PRESS who are happy to share the news with you today about this exciting prequel!! Publication date is 25th February 2021 so make a note of it!! This is a book you don’t want to miss out on!! Today also marks what would have been  the 124th birthday of F. SCOTT FITZGERALD so what better day to share the news!


ABOUT THE BOOK


NICK CARRAWAY STEPS OUT OF THE SHADOWS AND INTO THE SPOTLIGHT IN THIS EXHILARATING PREQUEL TO THE GREAT GATSBY, LEADING UP TO CARRAWAY’S MEETING WITH THE ENIGMATIC JAY GATSBY


This rich and imaginative novel from critically acclaimed author Michael Farris Smith breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. 

Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story – one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I. Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed first-hand, Nick embarks on a redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance – doomed from the very beginning – to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery and violence.

 NICK is an inspired concept realised with delicate, rhythmic prose, profound characterisation and deep emotion. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, NICK reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Publisher Website

Book Depository

waterstones

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

No Exit Press also publish Michael Farris Smith’s novels Desperation Road, The Fighter and most recently Blackwood. Farris Smith has been a finalist for the Gold Dagger Award in the UK, and the Grand Prix des Lectrices in France, and his essays have appeared in publications including The New York Times. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters. 

Larry and the Dog People by J.Paul Henderson – my review

THE BLURB

Larry MacCabe is a retired academic, a widower, and friendless—until a chance meeting with the administrator of a care home. At her suggestion he adopts a basset hound, and joins her one Saturday at Georgetown’s Volta Park. He becomes a regular visitor, and for the first time in his life the member of a gang. While his new companions prepare for the annual Blessing of the Animals service on the Feast Day of St. Francis, Larry puts the finishing touches to a conference paper he’s due to present in Jerusalem and arranges a house-sitter. Neither the service nor his visit to Israel go to plan, and on his return Larry is charged with conspiring to blow up a church and complicity in the deaths of four people. All that stands between him and conviction is a personal injury lawyer—and things for Larry aren’t looking good.

Amazon UK

Book Depository

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Publication Date – 27th July 2017

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J PAUL HENDERSON was born and grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire, gained a Master’s degree in American Studies and travelled to Afghanistan. He worked in a foundry, as a bus conductor, trained as an accountant and then, when the opportunity to return to academia arose, left for Mississippi, returning four years later with a doctorate in 20thC US History and more knowledge of Darlington Hoopes than was arguably necessary. (Hoopes was a Pennsylvanian socialist and the last presidential candidate of the American Socialist Party). American History departments were either closing or contracting, so he opted for a career in publishing, most of which was spent selling textbooks, in one position or other, for John Wiley & Sons. He lives in a house in England, drives a car and owns a television set. And that’s about it.

my review

How does a socially awkward, lonely widower end up in jail charged with conspiracy to blow up a church and the killing of 4 people?!  I’ve had the pleasure of finding out whilst reading this book, and it has been one of those books that has been a delight to discover!

I was intrigued by the blurb and the publishers, No Exit Press, kindly sent me an ARC as it sounded right up my street! And it was!

With touches of ‘A Man Called Ove’ we are introduced to the character of Larry who is desperately alone since the passing of his beloved wife.    He has always been socially awkward and this has become more noticeable since he’s been on his own.  He is a retired Professor and has the ability to remember the mundane facts of the world, and seems to think others would be as interested in things as he is – they often aren’t!    He becomes one of the ‘magnolia’ people, instantly forgettable and he finds that often nice doesn’t seem to get you anywhere in life and in finding friends. Even his children have nothing to do with him!

He was a geek as a child and nobody ever told him he talked too much, so he carried on!  And as a teacher for 37 years he could talk as much as he liked!

His home is silent since losing his wife, so he goes looking for company and conversation.  He tries volunteering and this leads him down the path of dog ownership!  Unfortunately his first attempt doesn’t go too well, but soon Moses appears in his life and his new life is just about to begin! 

He soon starts meeting a mixed bag of characters at the local dog park – ‘the dog people’ – and these are all weird and wonderful people who would never normally have met under any circumstances but soon form a bond over the time they spend together with their dogs.  I loved the mix of people, and you get to see the stories behind many of these characters and there are some fascinating stories to be told!

His work as a Professor is never far from his mind, and this leads to an opportunity to deliver a talk in Israel, seeing as he’s the leading expert on the ‘Desert Land Act of 1877’. (Yes, I’ve looked it up since to find out more!!)  Who knew this new venture would lead to his life unravelling again!

I found this book to be such a fascinating, funny and dark read!  It’s a story of grief, being alone, moving on and acceptance.  And just when you think you have figured out the moral behind the story, then ‘boom’ it all takes a much darker twist and leads you down a completely different thought process!  Maybe you are better off alone….

Highly recommended if you are looking for something a little different! I will definitely be reading more from this author!

My thanks again to No Exit Press for the ARC copy