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The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still (Louie Knight Mystery 6) Paperback – 1 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (1 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408810255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408810255
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Malcolm Pryce was born in the UK and has spent much of his life working and travelling abroad. He has been, at various times, a BMW assembly-line worker, a hotel washer-up, a deck hand on a yacht sailing the South Seas, an advertising copywriter and the world's worst aluminium salesman. In 1998 he gave up his day job and booked a passage on a banana boat bound for South America in order to write Aberystwyth Mon Amour. He spent the next seven years living in Bangkok, where he wrote three more novels in the series, Last Tango in Aberystwyth, The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Aberystwyth and Don't Cry for Me Aberystwyth. In 2007 he moved back to the UK and now lives in Oxford.

(Photo credit: David Mitchell)

Product Description


Malcolm Pryce is the king of Welsh noir and he dishes up a dastardly mix of gothic comedy where Edgar Allen Poe meets Phoenix Nights in a flurry of blood-stained absurdity (Sunday Telegraph)

Surreal, absurd and very funny ... ingredients include a Buick sought by an alien from another planet; a mayoral election that has replaced voting with a human cannonball; and wisecracks that would make Groucho Marx jealous (The Times)

Pryce continues to put a uniquely surreal spin on the hoary old conventions of noir writing ... It's impossibly weird and, in parts, beautifully lyrical. Pryce's many fans certainly won't be disappointed (Guardian)

You'll weep and laugh, on the same page. Wonderful (Guardian)

Pryce's Aberystwyth is populated by the same hoods, crooks, heavies, conmen, liars, informers, dealers and bureaucrats that prop up the street corners of Raymond Chandler's LA, Louie himself possessing the same unshakable idealism and acid tongue as Philip Marlowe (Time Out)

Poor Aberystwyth. Malcolm Pryce has taken this blameless town and turned it into a nightmarish world ... his plots are as satisfying as those of some of the best straight practitioners (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

In the latest hilarious instalment of Malcolm Pryce's Louie Knight mysteries, Wales's answer to Philip Marlowe faces an axe-wielding rabbit-hugger, a green-eyed beauty who answers to the name Miaow, and a case that is out of this world

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By I. Saunders on 26 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all the Louie Knight mysteries, but I don't think I have laughed so much as I did during the first half of this latest story of Aberystwyth.

As in his other books, Pryce's pastiche of the stereotypic world-weary gumshoe is spot-on, and the way he intertwines it with people and places in his Welsh "parallel universe", where the everyday or quaint are steeped in intrigue, is utterly brilliant.

That aside, Pryce is an extremely accomplished wordsmith, and his writing is filled with wonderful images, metaphors, and philosophical insight.

This book is by turns hilarious, moving, deep, and once more hilarious. If you have a pulse, and a sense of humour, you will love this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I love a story that is completely different to the myriad of books out there, so when I was recommended this title by staff at Bloomsbury I thought that it would be worth a shot if only to see what the only PI in Aberystwyth had to offer. The story is quirky, the lead character, Louie Knight even more so and all in a tale so fantastical and unlikely that it should have been a complete mess, but with so many things that could have been wrong it made something so right and I found myself loving every minute of the book.

Add to this a great sense of pace, cracking dialogue and a smart mouth that keeps the lead character in more trouble than he can really handle which made this such a satisfying read.

Whilst this was the sixth title in the series I didn't feel that I'd missed out to this point and because of that its warm enveloping sense of humour and friendship really won me over. I really will be looking at picking up the other titles by Malcolm when time allows as this little gem really did bring a smile to my face throughout the read. Malcolm really is quirky, humorous with a Noir sense of darkness lurking the edges of his mind. Great stuff.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alun Williams VINE VOICE on 11 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been eagerly awaiting the latest Louie Knight mystery for several months, and have not been disappointed. Although this book returns all the action to Wales (apart from a brief foray over the border into Shrewsbury when Louie goes on a date with Miaow, a new beauty in a stovepipe hat he meets in a shady nightclub), and a number of characters from earlier volumes reappear (notably Louie's terrifying games teacher, Herod Jenkins), this episode is as wonderfully imaginative as any yet, encompassing elements of 50s sci-fi, reminiscences of the Vatican laundry, and Macbeth - along with plenty of old time religion and local politics done the Aberystwyth way. As ever there are plenty of though provoking musings on the meaning of life.
At times this adventure does descend a little too far towards silliness, but as well as laughs there are some very solid pleasures to be found within its pages. Perhaps more than with any of the previous books in the series, I found myself stopping to reread sentences and paragraphs and admire how beautifully they were crafted. Malcolm Pryce has either a particularly silver pen, or he works much harder than most writers, and there are many delightful changes of pace and mood. If I were given to underlining or highlighting striking passages I think I could find many wonderful quotations from this book on a range of subjects including picnics, rioting, and economics; there are many lines which I am tempted to steal for use in poems. I think this book is at least as likely to appeal to fans of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series as of Discworld (I like the former but not the latter).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Arturovitch on 14 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought that the Aberystwyth series would be a one joke idea that would run out of steam after a while - but no, they just keep getting better and better. Pryce has created a wonderful surreal parallel universe, with parodies of many different genres and a wry satire on Welsh life. I loved the Denunsiationists. It was also good to see the return of old favourites like Herod Jenkins, the sadistic PE teacher, while Eyeore and Sospan are always there to offer philosophical advice - Sospan's ice creams have now become a genre of their own! My favourite character though has to be Iolo Raspiwtin, cousin of the more famous Gregori Rasputin, whose family emigrated to Wales (via the Ukrainian Welsh town of Hughsovska of course) and changed the spelling of their name so they could blend in. Priceless. I'm surprised that there has been no talk of televising the series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think that these books are fabulous.

The alternate world where Louie Knight is Aberystwyth's only PI is comedic, dark, surreal and hugely enjoyable.

All the regular characters are here, Sospan, Eyeore, Herod and of course, Calamity, with some new characters that I hope will pop up again, and with a new secret organisation, the Aviary, for Louie to take on.

As always, the story twists and turns, makes you cry and laugh out loud and brings you to a satisfying conclusion but still wanting to read the further adventures of Louie.

There are many reasons why I enjoy reading these, one of them, is that as a child our family holidays regularly meant a stay in Clarach Bay, so the area is very familiar (although I must have missed all the dark deeds and goings on in Aberystwyth), another is that Malcolm Pryce paints such vivid verbal pictures of the happenings with so skillfully the books are a pleasure to read.

The way the author conjures the verbal images of the scenes he describes is truely wonderful, there is a scene in the book where he describes an open air concert and, after a short rain shower, says something like (and I apologise if this is wrong, "the audiences' spectacles glistened like slices of wet cucumber on their faces.", as you read it you think (a) how surreal it seems, and (b) how vivid an image it creates.

The book is full of gems like this, they make all of the books by the author a pleasure to read.

If you have not read any of the previous novels, then you can just dive into this one as no previous knowledge of the characters is needed, but you will end up wanting to read the rest!

Excellent story telling - it is a shame that the author is not more well known.
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