Book geekdom – new books from Peter Ackroyd and Michel Faber

London
London

You know you’re a book geek when you punch the air, yell “YESSSS” and get generally all excited when you find your favourite author is coming out with something new.

And this week I’ve done it twice. First I heard about Peter Ackroyd’s The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein. Ackroyd is amazing – he combines the rich detail of historical fiction with literary style and technique of the highest order.  The first book of his I read was The last testament of Oscar Wilde, a retelling of the last days of Wilde in Paris. These are novels to lose hours in, and he specialises in endings that are almost spiritual and transcendent.

Ackroyd is very much a man of letters, and has written biographies of figures such as Thomas More and Charles Dickens, and books for children and teenagers. Oh, and a biography of the city of London no less.

The Apple
The Apple

Michel Faber has also written a book set in Victorian times – The Crimson Petal and the white is a big, swirling book detailing the life of Sugar, a 19 year old prostitute. The Apple is a collection of short stories that revisits some of the same characters.

His new book is called The fire gospel. It sounds a bit crazy:

Theo Griepenkerl is a modest academic with an Olympian ego. When he visits a looted museum in Iraq, looking for treasures he can ship back to Canada, he finds nine papyrus scrolls that have lain hidden for two thousand years. Once translated from Aramaic, these prove to be a fifth Gospel, written by an eye-witness of Jesus Christ’s last days …


Theo Griepenkerl is a modest academic with an Olympian ego. When he visits a looted museum in Iraq, looking for treasures he can ship back to Canada, he finds nine papyrus scrolls that have lain hidden for two thousand years. Once translated from Aramaic, these prove to be a fifth Gospel, written by an eye-witness of Jesus Christ’s last days. But, when Theo decides to share this sensational discovery with the world, he fails to imagine the impact the new Gospel will have on Christians, Arabs, homicidal maniacs and Amazon customers. Like Prometheus’ gift of fire, it has incendiary consequences. “The Fire Gospel” is an enthralling novel about the power of words to resonate across centuries, and inspire and disrupt in equal measure. Wickedly provocative, hilarious and shocking by turns, it is a revelatory piece of storytelling.

2 thoughts on “Book geekdom – new books from Peter Ackroyd and Michel Faber

  1. Helen O 25 September 2008 / 4:43 pm

    Yeah, I must be a book geek too. I have the same reaction on hearing that Michel Faber has a new book out, but then I had to remember about that cheat of an ending he gave us with The Crimson Petal and the White. Admittedly he was pretty promptly forgiven though. Guess that means I’ll give him another chance, especially since this new one sounds so intriguing. I’m a sucker for books described as “crazy”!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s