Release date - 4th April 2017
Book length - 204 pages
Book Depository - www.bookdepository.com
Amazon UK - The Horse's Arse
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
Patrick Phelan is an ageing artist who has never made it big but who somehow manages to live on air in a North London suburb.
When not running art classes for amateurs, Patrick wrestles in the shed at the bottom of his garden with his life's work: a series of visionary canvases of The Seven Seals.
When his wheeler-dealer son Marty turns up with a commission from a rich client for some copies of paintings by modern masters, Phelan reluctantly agrees; it means money for his ex-wife Moira. However the deal with Marty is, typically, not what it seems.
What follows is a complex chain of events involving fakery, fraud, kidnapping, murder, the Russian Mafia and a cast of dubious art world characters. A contemporary spin on Joyce Cary's classic satire The Horse's Mouth, The Horse's Arse by Laura Gascoigne is a crime thriller-cum-comic-fable that poses the serious question: where does art go from here?
Now firstly I must admit that I know next to nothing about Art so I knew going into this novel that there may be some elements of the story that would confuse me, but I really liked the premise of the plot so I decided to read it anyway, and I am really glad I did. Excellently paced, exciting, dangerous, and humorous throughout, this mad-cap collection of characters are sure to hold your interest from start to finish. Pat is an extremely talented artist who just never seemed to get his big break and now finds himself painting very specific portraits for his son Martin, who is rubbing shoulders with many unsavoury characters. As the drama starts to unfold, everything begins to take a much more sinister turn. Who knew the art world could be so murky? Naturally, there are a lot of art references throughout this tale but I was delighted to find that I understood most of them. THE HORSE'S ARSE by Laura Gascoigne is a clever tale that weaves the beauty of art, corruption, and humour effortlessly together to create an entertaining read.
BOOK RATING - 📖📖📖📖 4.5
Currently living in Hampstead, North London, Laura Gascoigne has worked as an art journalist for over twenty years, editing Artists & Illustrators (1994-1999) before going freelance. Laura was born in Cairo in 1950, the daughter of a bookseller and an Italian teacher, and grew up in Brussels and Cambridge before studying Classics at Oxford University. Her sister is the writer Marina Warner. Surrounded as a child by the paintings her father collected, she has always had a passion for art and when not writing about it, she paints.
*I want to thank Rachel from Authoright.com and the author Laura Gascoigne for the opportunity to review this book and take part in this blog tour. I am delighted to have an excerpt for you all to read - Happy Reading!! 📚💜
From Chapter XXXIV of The Horse’s Arse, in which a Council Planning Department inspector visits the hero Pat Phelan after reports of illegal activity
“Well this lot weren’t exactly hiding anything. There it was, a big carved wooden sign on the alley door with the words ‘THE SHED’ daubed in large white letters over the name ‘SEA VIEW’. He searched for a bell, tried the door handle, which came off in his hand, and spotted a toilet chain hanging from an ironwork bracket with a ceramic toggle reading ‘PULL’.
He pulled, and heard the distant clang of bells.
He pulled again, twice, and went round to try the front entrance. There were three bell pushes, none apparently connected, and a big brass knocker – a pair of knockers, you might say – in the shape of a mermaid.
He lifted the siren politely by her tail and was just about to bring her down with wallop on the scallop-shaped plate when he heard a loud ‘Halloo’ from the alley.
‘Come out, Invisible Man, wherever you are!’
The voice was so resonant it made him jump. He tripped backwards down the step and dusted off his dignity by producing his ID card.
‘Hank Dooberry, Haringey Planning Department. We’ve received a complaint about a temporary structure at the back of this residential premises being used for a commercial purpose. Are you the householder?’
'The Shedholder,’ said the man, ‘Pat Phelan,’ and held out his hand.”
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger from Ireland. Oh and also a wife and mother!
UPCOMING BLOG TOURS