Will Giles Bigrump ever learn...?
From luxury living in London to low life in East Vancouver--via 747s, Jaguars, Greyhounds, hot air balloons, taxis and collapsing old Fords--Giles Bigrump is on the run. Just one step ahead of the London Metropolitan Police, a Machiavellian trophy-wife, US Border Patrol agents, personal responsibility, and the momentum of his own past, he's learning things the hard way. Or somehow--over and over--managing not to.
In the tradition of Anthony Burgess's F.X. Enderby or Kingsley Amis's Roger Micheldene, Giles is a sort of middle-aged, obese Quixote, and meets on his travels a sort of Lear, a sort of Juliet, a Cockney thug, a Latina seductress, a Mexican con man, an American Bible college student who looks a lot like Frodo Baggins, and--plagued as he is by his Jungian anima--a woman named Annie Ma, who hides a mysterious past and, maybe, the keys to his future. If only Giles could sober up long enough to seize them....
By turns slapstick, satirical and searching, the narrative considers a range of topics: blame, loss, the relative quality of a Starbucks cappuccino, what life's like in the Daxue Shan ranges of eastern Sichuan, acrophobia, internet porn, the corporate ownership of pretty much the entire universe, the poetry of Byron, why car commercials always feature the word "introducing," death, Manchester United Football Club, and alcoholism. It's a funny read but resonant too--a picaresque with a point.
Martin Phipps is the author of: The Concentrationists; More Wine?; Rue des Mensonges; Imaginary Friends; The Hard Way; and two books of short stories. He's written for the newsletter of The Anthony Burgess Center and of The International Anthony Burgess Foundation.
The Sexes Published December 15, 2014
The Concentrationists Published December 04, 2013
The Blue Rose and other stories Published January 10, 2013
More Wine? Published January 14, 2012