Runner-up for the People's Book Prize for Fiction 2012.
Set during the extraordinary historical events of the First Crusade this is an original and compelling debut full of mystery, betrayal, secrecy, romance, humour and suspense. Like Dan Brown’s adventures this one is also on the hunt for the Holy Grail and is also a cracking good story but unlike the Dan Brown this one provides an element of literary learning too. Clashes of good and evil as well as clashes of religion is commonplace as a group of desperate Oxford Dons retell the story of Hugh de Verdon, monk turned knight who sets out to uncover the truth behind the Holy Grail. September 2010 Debut of the Month.
The Waste Land was runner-up for the People's Book Prize for Fiction 2012. Simon Acland's non-fiction book, Angels, Dragons and Vultures was also runner-up for the People's Book Prize for Non-Fiction.
This is the true story of the Holy Grail. The Waste Land chronicles the adventures of Hugh de Verdon, monk turned knight, during the extraordinary historical events of the First Crusade. He journeys from the great Benedictine monastery of Cluny to Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem. He encounters the Assassins, endures a personal epiphany and discovers the 'truth' behind the Holy Grail. Hugh de Verdon's tale is retold by a group of desperate Oxford professors, based on his autobiographical manuscript, discovered in their College Library. Their humorous - and murderous - story also provides a commentary on the eleventh century events and shows that they are perhaps not all they seem.
'Hugh de Verdon's story has all the qualities you could want in a historical epic - excitement, suspense, love, battles, treachery, and mystery. But it is the humour, and the sublety of the literary allusions that make this book really special.' THE DAILY GRAIL
'It is rare to find an adventure as exciting as this that also addresses important issues such as the problem of evil and the clash between Christianity and Islam.' TEMPLAR NEWS
'Lots happens in The Waste Land.' THE MONTHLY PUZZLER
'Tremendous story-telling, gripping narrative, evocative history' LION AND LEOPARD
What other writers say about The Waste Land :
'Highly original and a most enjoyable read.' Tim Waterstone
'Sex, violence and more than a dash of romance: Simon Acland's gripping First Crusade mystery thriller rivals the Da Vinci Code for interest and suspense.' Stanley Johnson
'The Waste Land will be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone with a taste for rollicking adventure laced with a subtle dose of literary learning.' Douglas Hurd
'I found it utterly gripping.' Giles MacDonogh
'Simon Acland's debut novel is a potent cocktail: take one part First Crusade historical romance, one part modern academic satire - and add three jiggers of coming-of-age, Grail-questing, spur-winning Knight's tale. A rollicking, galloping read from a highly individual story teller.' Juliette Mead
Publication date: 10/06/2010
Publisher: Charlwood Books
|Publication date:||10th June 2010|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, Historical Fiction, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Historical fiction, Folklore, myths & legends,|
Simon Acland spent twenty-five years as a venture capitalist backing high technology businesses. The sale of his firm in 2007 gave him the opportunity to do something completely different. The Waste Land is the product of several overlapping interests: fascination with the original twelfth century grail romances as a result of studying French at Oxford, enthusiasm for the meanings and origins of ancient myths and legends, and awe for T S Eliot's genius in blending these elements together and giving them universal meaning. His first novel also betrays his suspicion of organised religion, his interest in medieval history, and his enjoyment ...More About Simon Acland