Winter is here…

…and to mark the season our friends at Aardvark Bureau/Gallic Books have given the Prof a revamp. Here’s a picture from the impromptu launch party. It was very sporting of Richard Dawkins to turn up and join in the festivities – look at him getting into the spirit of things:


Maybe there will be a new edition every winter.

Hearteningly, my golden oldie Anthropology is still out there doing its thing. A brand new Romanian translation is due out any day now. There are rumours that it will be the first illustrated edition – hopefully this will start a trend.


Writingwise I’m working on a couple of things that I’m not allowed to talk about. Perhaps one day this will be as glamorous as it sounds.

And so things tick on.

Happy reading.

Farewell Gig & Czech Book

For a long time it’s seemed as though I’ve been constantly on the road – recently I’ve been performing as many as two gigs in a single year. This punishing schedule has taken its toll, and I’ve decided to take an indefinite hiatus from the book reading circuit. There’s one last chance to catch my Live Spectacular though – in Liverpool on Tuesday 31st May, with full accompanying cast. Details below. See you all there – no excuses.


I may drift back into circulation when the kids are much older, or if I ever have another book out. Both of those are dim and distant prospects, so that’ll be it for at least a few years. I’ve had some tremendous times touring, and I’m really grateful to everyone who’s helped organise the events, or turned up to listen. It’s taken me to places I would never otherwise have been (Turku! Hvar! Bellingham, WA! Inverness!); I’ve toured alongside some truly excellent people (A week with Jim Dodge! Two weeks in the opera houses of Flanders with Tama Janowitz, Jeffrey Eugenides and Tom Barman! A Trans-American haul with DBC Pierre!); and been a tiny part of some superb festivals (Edinburgh! Crossing Border! Laugharne Weekend! ATP!). I even met my wife at a gig at the Haight Ashbury branch of Booksmith. But as with just about everything (particularly exclamation marks), the secret’s knowing when to stop.

In other news, the Czech translation of When The Professor Got Stuck In The Snow is out. This  edition is very close to my heart, because for a long time Alexander Tomsky at LEDA was the only publisher in the world who was plucky enough to publish it; until the equally plucky Aardvark Bureau came along, it seemed for several months as though it would only be available in Czech.


That’s all for now.

Happy reading,



International Tour & Tiny Story

So The Prof has been out for a while now, and has been ticking over nicely. We’ve had some friendly reviews, like this one in The Spectator [“Set to become a comic classic… I laughed myself sick”] and a “hilarious” from The Observer, complete with a photo from an extraordinarily long time ago. Continuing kudos is due to Aardvark Bureau/Gallic Books for being brave enough to publish. They are a small operation though, and in lieu of a saturation bus campaign we’ve been heavily reliant on bookseller support and word of mouth to get the book out there, so big thanks to everyone who’s been banging the drum for us.

In other news, I’m heading out on my biggest tour in a long time. I’ll be hitting the road with an exhausting two dates – in Prestatyn and Liverpool. Details on the Tour Dates page.

Also, I’ve got a very short story in the anthology ‘Being Dad’. Called ‘Allowance’, it was going to be in Marry Me, but ended up being booted out when the record company deemed it too creepy. I had a feeling it would find a home one day, and here it is. The book contains longer contributions from some very good writers (Toby Litt, Nikesh Shukla, etc etc) and is available via the usual channels. Bearing in mind the book is about fatherhood, it seems only appropriate that my personal copy has been vandalised by a toddler:


That’s enough self-promotion – it’s time for a cultural tip-off. I’ve recently been hugely enjoying the Youtube series “Cummings Your Way”. Homemade documentaries about largely overlooked pockets of England, they are monumentally entertaining. There are hours and hours of them, and nowhere near enough people are watching. Together we can change that. Here’s Cummings when he came to my town. Give him a try:

Happy reading.

High drama – new editions and tiny tour


Here it is. At last, after a long and wretched struggle, I’ve found a publisher bold enough to take on The Prof, and it’s back from the printers. Kudos to Aardvark Bureau for not being frightened of Richard Dawkins [see previous posts] and for matchmaking the book with the artist Pete Fowler, who has done us proud with the jacket.

The official publication date is 1st October, but we’ve heard reports of copies trickling in to the shops early. Please buy as many as you can carry, and hand them out to friends and strangers.

We’re big fans of this trade preview from Netgalley, who made it one of their picks of the month:


There’s also a tour date to report – the first Live Spectacular in over two years. It’s in London, at Blackwell’s High Holborn on Thursday 1st October at 6.30, and it’s free to get in. Full details here. It’s likely to be the only gig of the year – though more may follow in due course, depending on this and that.

In other news there’s been a fun looking edition of Marry Me come in from the Czech Republic:


Happy reading.

The Professor Who Came in from the Cold


After a year in the wilderness [see the last couple of posts] my latest novel, When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow, has found a home: Aardvark Bureau will be publishing a paperback edition this coming October. Here’s the story in trade magazine The Bookseller. It is now our sacred duty to ensure it sells a million, so all the publishers who were too chicken to take it on spend the rest of their lives clawing the air with regret. Wish us luck with that.

The next stage will be having it professionally copy edited for the first time, so I’ll get to have all my embarrassing mistakes pointed out to me; but at least we’ll finally get an answer to the nagging question: is it bell end, bell-end or bellend?

I’ve been really touched by all the support I’ve had throughout the Year of Struggle. Morale had taken something of a thumping, so I’m truly grateful to everyone who got in touch with kind words or offers of help of one sort or another.

And now for the Paragraph of Desperation. If you’ve already read the book and enjoyed it we would of course hugely appreciate it if you were to give us a review on the online forum of your choice. And if you’ve read it and not enjoyed it… you’ve probably done that already. End of Neediness Corner.

And no, we never did hear back from Richard Dawkins.

Needless to say I’ll be interminably rattling on about it closer to the time, but for now… phew.


And, as ever, happy reading.