No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Charles Elton worked as a designer and editor in publishing before becoming a director of the literary agency, Curtis Brown. Since 1991 he has worked in television and has been Executive Producer in drama at ITV since 2000. Among his productions are the Oscar-nominated short Syrup, The Railway Children, Andrew Davies' adaptation of Northanger Abbey and the recent series Time Of Your Life.
Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 3 June 2009. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 26 February 2009. February 2009 Good Housekeeping selection. If this book becomes a film – not unlikely given its author’s credentials as a TV drama producer – the hauntingly magical composer Danny Elfman (Edward Scissorhands, Desperate Housewives) would be top choice for the soundtrack. This strangely spirited tale of what happens to the family of children’s author Arthur Hayman in the wake of his demise under a cement mixer is blown along with a powerful gust of black humour. Hayman’s fictional Mr Toppit has a malevolence, real or imagined, which inveigles all who know him. Lovereading view... Fantastic characterisation and plotlines make this an unputdownable read. A brilliant satire on celebrity culture, thoroughly recommended.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 26 February 2009. Fantastic characterisation and plotlines make this an unputdownable read. A brilliant satire on celebrity culture, thoroughly recommended.
From the bestselling author of Mr Toppit, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, comes a riotous, darkly comic story of siblings searching for the truth about their musician father - for fans of The Rosie Project, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Humans Iz Herzl, renowned political activist and protest singer, has always refused to dwell on the past. Now eighty, he sits in his house in Muswell Hill, while his lovers - some past, some present - dance attendance upon him. Downstairs, Iz's children - teenage maths wunderkind Rose, and her dying brother Huddie - spend their days picking through the myths and secrecy that have always swirled around their unknowable father. But Iz can't keep the past at bay forever. Into their lives comes Joseph: his first child, whom Rose and Huddie have never met. And his arrival will change things in ways that Rose and Huddie could never have anticipated...
From the bestselling author of Mr Toppit, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, comes a riotous, darkly comic story of siblings searching for the truth about their musician father - for fans of The Rosie Project, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Humans My brother Huddie said that we must be in the very small percentile of people who had a mother who fell out of the same window twice. Even dogs don't do that: they learn from experience. Iz Herzl, renowned political activist and protest singer, has always said that you should concentrate on the future, not the past. Now aged eighty, a reclusive figure holed up in Muswell Hill, Iz's refusal to reflect on his life leaves his teenage children, maths wunderkind Rose and her dying brother Huddie, adrift in myth and uncertainty. Iz doesn't talk about his other child, Joseph, a West End songwriter whom Rose and Huddie have never met. Joseph's single, disastrous encounter with his father many years earlier set him on a violent path to self destruction. Now he tries to impose order on his chaotic world with rhyme, transforming traumatic events into song. As the scattered children of Iz Herzl begin to converge, the ambiguities at the heart of their father's life start to surface in a way that will change them all. The Songs is a bittersweet tale of family, fame and ambition that is both darkly comic and deeply affecting.
The bestselling, Richard and Judy Book Club Pick, Mr Toppit is a darkly comic, enthralling story of a family shaped by their father's literary legacy, exploring fame, fandom and long-buried secrets When Arthur Hayman, author of The Hayseed Chronicles, dies, a bizarre chain of events conspires to make his series of children's novels world-famous. But buried deep inside the books lie secrets that begin to shake Arthur's family - his son, Luke, reluctantly immortalized as the young hero; his daughter, Rachel, for whom the books are a hole through which her life has fallen; and his enigmatic wife, Martha, who knows that secrets are best kept well-hidden. And at the heart of The Hayseed Chronicles is the mysterious Mr Toppit, who will let none of the Haymans out of his grasp...
"e;And out of the Darkwood Mr. Toppit comes, and he comes not for you, or for me, but for all of us."e; When the Hayseed Chronicles, an obscure series of children's books, becomes world famous, millions of readers debate the significance of that enigmatic last line and of the shadowy figure, Mr. Toppit, who dominates the books. The author, Arthur Hayman, an unsuccessful screenwriter mown down by a concrete truck in Soho, never reaps the benefits of the books' success. The legacy passes to his widow, Martha, and her children-the fragile Rachel, and Luke, reluctantly immortalized as Luke Hayseed, the central character of his father's books. But others want their share, particularly Laurie, the overweight stranger from California who comforted Arthur as he lay dying and has a mysterious agenda of her own that will change all their lives, for buried deep in the books lie secrets which threaten to be revealed as the family begins to crumble under the heavy burden of their inheritance. Spanning several decades, from the heyday of the British film industry after the war to the cut-throat world of show business in Los Angeles, Mr. Toppit is a riveting tale of the unexpected effects of sudden fame and fortune. Not since Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up! has a novel managed to capture a family and a society to such wonderfully funny and painful effect.