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The House of Marvellous Books

"This wryly funny, affectionate account of a near-to-collapse publishing house sparkles with a cast of quirky characters and knowing ennui."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Drawing on her experience of working in small publishing houses, Fiona Vigo Marshall’s The House of Marvellous Books will elicit knowing chuckles and roars from industry insiders - think fractious cover and acquisition meetings, pre-book-fair frenzies, authors’ idiosyncrasies and copious cake - plus there’s plenty of jaunty drama and human interest to satisfy readers from beyond the book world. 

Told from the point of view of junior editor Mortimer Blackeley-Smith as he logs the daily downs of his workplace (there aren’t many ups to speak of), The House of Marvellous Books publishing company is run from a near-ruined library in central London, with an equally ruined bank account. The obscure religious and spiritual subjects the editors commission are hardly likely to storm bestseller lists, as the splendidly bizarre book titles suggest - Twiglets: Poems written sleeping under trees, What Trees Talk About When They Talk About Love, I Messaged God at Bedtime, Deer Scat: Poetic droppings from an earth elder. What’s more, most of their authors fail to deliver what they promised, when they promised, and Production have been known to forget to send books to print.

Amidst this maelstrom, aged Chief Editor Drusilla believes the missing - and priceless - Daybreak Manuscript might save the company from ruination, but does it even exist? Most employees are unconvinced, while rumours about being bought by Russians are spreading like wildfire through a book warehouse.

With an undercurrent of melancholic optimism, and an amusing cast of eccentric individuals who rather resemble a thrown together, dysfunctional family, this will charm and entertain fans of wry, dry humour. 

Joanne Owen

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