John Murray possesses the rare knack of combining zany farce with serious themes, making uproarious Rabelaisian comedy serve unexpected ends.
John Dory, is the hilarious yet poignant story of a middle-aged ice-cream salesman, George Singer, who becomes obsessed with the exotic fish in the local aquarium. His unusual passion, triggered by a moment of epiphany, leads him on a profound spiritual journey.
As George flashes back through his extraordinary past, from his wartime childhood to the adulterous relationship that destroyed his marriage, Murray introduces a gallery of wild Cumbrian eccentrics, including the redoutable kiosk vendor Ma Singer and George's illiterate schoolmate, Squinty Bar Radish.
John Dory was shortlisted for the Lakeland Book of the Year, and won the creative category, the first novel to receive such an award in the 19 years of the Awards.
'Every once in a while, comes a novel so brilliantly written, funny and downright surprising that you are prepared to forgive the reams of mediocrity against which it shines so brightly.'
David Whetstone, The Journal, Newcastle
'A Rabelaisian romp..fans of this talented writer will need no persuading; the uninitiated should acquaint themselves.'
Anthea Lawson, The Times
'A lovely book.' Elisa Segrave, The Literary Review
'Any page of John Dory taken at random conveys a tremendous sense of an alternative England out there beyond the reach of newspapers and television...I continue to read him with delight and admiration.'
D.J. Taylor, The Spectator
'Its exuberant story-telling offers ample rewards.' Michael Arditti, The Independent
'The characters and places are vivid, the set pieces are hilarious and though George's epiphany is puzzling, it's also strangely moving.'
Lawrence Phelan, The Independent on Sunday
John Dory costs £7.99 and was published in June 2002.
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