From the Publisher
What would have happened if Charles Dickens had looked at his writing in a different way? Say from the Back Side?
British author Anthony Lund answers these questions in A Christmas Carol Retold, a Tales From The Back Side story turning the well loved classic on its head before shaking it around a bit for good measure. Lund has written since his early teens, refining his art through an insatiable desire for the written word of many genres and generations of successful and obscure authors alike.
Raymond John, author of The Cellini Masterpiece, says, "A true gem who has found his feet. Witty, laugh-out-loud at times and easy to read." Tania Walsh, author of Little Kunoichi, says, "Inspired. He walks the line of genius and madness perfectly. If only everyone thought like this the world would be a more appealing place."
A Christmas Carol Retold takes a new look at the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly encounters one Christmas Eve. The story is one of Dickens best known works, but all you knew should be forgotten before entering this retelling of the tale. The book will appeal to lovers of the late Spike Milligan's off the wall According to... series of books and the work of wordplay Godfather, Ronnie Barker.
Agents from the publishing world have commented on the quality of the book, although due to financial necessity, many have turned down the book as a non-hefty profit book. For that reason, with the backing of fans logging onto his websites, Lund has taken on the task of bringing his first novel to its waiting audience.
On the subject of turning his back his back on the larger publishers, Lund has commented, "I haven't necessarily turned my back on anyone. If a publisher decides they want to publish this or any of my subsequent books in the future then I will consider any offer they make. I just feel that at the moment, this is the right way to take this series of books. They are aimed at a niche market and I'm not looking to make my fortune from this. I write because its something I love doing, with any luck people enjoy reading the stuff I come out with, and I always like going against the grain.
"The people I have sent samples to have been very complimentary about this book. The real problem is I'm a new author and I'm not offering a multi-million selling blockbuster, so it is really difficult to break into the tight-closed world of publishers and agents. While I chip away at that block, though, I don't see any reason not to put in a bit of graft to get my work out there."
Anthony Lund works in Business Development, and has also held positions in Financial Operations and Charity Event Co-Ordination, all in and around his home near Durham, England. He has studied Psychology and Psychoanalysis, plays guitar and has sidelines in cartooning, song writing and poetry. This is his first novel, which he will actively be marketing and promoting, and he is working on a second book in the Retold Series, as well as a number of other upcoming projects.A Christmas Carol Retold by Anthony Lund is available now
From the Author
Although I have been writing since the age of twelve, it is only during the last few years I've finally come close to finding my level. I am not the type of person who only works in one genre, or sticks to one novel at a time.
My main focus has always been on horror and humour, while Crime and Fantasy also feature on my radar.
For the last two years I have contributed a humourous article to a company newsletter and found the need to produce something special for Christmas 2006. As my article concentrated on creating ludicrous takes on historical people, events and places, I decided to do my version of one of my favourite classic Christmas stories; Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
The problem I did not foresee was that my article ran to a maximum word count of 1500 words. Halfway through the first chapter I had already exceeded the limit and could not see the complete story being less than 10000 words. With a little bit of persuasion i was able to poach space on the company web page to run the story in several episodes.
A year later, I dusted down that version of the parody and with the help of Dickens' original text I was able to extend the text by over 7000 words to create the first book in The Retold Series.
Writing parodies containing wordplay, in jokes, one liners and familiar characters distorted and twisted to my way of thinking comes naturally to me. I don't have to think about what I am writing, and as long as I don't think about it the end result is usually pleasing.
The Retold Series, with further books to come, is meant to be taken as nothing more than a bit of fun. It's a bit like a singer doing a cover of someone else's song, only in literary terms. There are many stories in the world that most people would never expect to see reworked as comedies, and with this project I intend to see if I can do just that.
From the Inside Flap
one Ebenezer Scrooge...but every story has a back side where things are seen from a different angle.
This is A Christmas Carol like none before it and none that dare to follow in its wake. Follow Scrooge on the longest journey of his life since his School trip to Legoland with a trio of aptly named Spirits, and discover the brutal ways of the past, present and future ghosts. Why can Scrooge no longer use his favourite catchphrase? Who are the suspicious charity workers? How does Scrooge end up with jelly down his trousers? Who ate all the pies? How many jokes about fiddling with knockers can one book get away with?
From the Back Cover
preview readers have said -
"I laughed so much my pants have not been dry for two days!"
"Filled with so many one-liners I missed most of them the first time
"Very, very funny."
"Finally a book that delivers what it promised - good old
fashioned British humour."
"It's not my cup of tea, but someone will like it."*
* It was her double vodka and coke though.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
This is a thoroughly uplifting start to any story I'm sure you will agree, although it should be noted that if Marley were not dead from the outset then he would have to die sometime around now or we would not be able to have a tale at all. On the whole it is better to begin with someone dead than having to find a suitably macabre, clever and visually pleasing way to pop them off. This is Dickens not Agatha Christie!
So anyway, Marley was definitely deceased and living it up somewhere on the south coast of heaven, getting a nice tan from an updraft from hell.
In the world of the living, situated near Chessington World of Adventures, you would be mistaken for thinking Marley was still alive. His name was there clear to see next to that of Ebenezer Scrooge outside their business premises. It would have taken only a few minutes to paint over Marley's name, but Scrooge had never been fond of decorating - he preferred debt collecting.
Scrooge and Marley had been business associates for many years. They had been somewhat married to each other in their misery-making. Neither man had come close to having a meaningful relationship with a female other than of a business nature and it was clear to most that the partners were obviously a pair of whoopsies.
That was in the past, of course. Marley was now, without room for doubt to poke a pinkie through, dead; the usual outcome for someone whose heart no longer beat and whose body had been buried for seven years. Scrooge had overseen the funeral and aided the filling in of the grave just for his own peace of mind. He had applied for Marley's life insurance and wanted no last minute hitches.
It is at this point in our story that we should remind ourselves of one thing; Marley was definitely dead. He was passed over, stone-cold croaked, the rabbit on the tyre, the lamb in the abattoir, ding dong the partner's dead...well you get the idea. It is just to say that Marley was, positively and terminally, dead and buried.
The seven years since Marley's demise had not been kind to Scrooge. He aged gracelessly, had no bingo wins and occasionally suffered incontinence. In short, shit happened. That had not prevented Scrooge enjoying his daily routine every day.
Scrooge liked to think he coined the phrase, "Be a bastard all day, lots of work and no play." The Mars Company had declined to use it as their slogan. To live by his motto, Scrooge packed his time with many hours of penny pinching, moaning, beating the living shit out of his one member of staff and generally having a merry old time.
He was a rough-skinned hand at the potter's wheel and he would never admit that his favourite film was Ghost. Scrooge was every bit the stubborn old goat he was made out to be both inside and out. His nose could be mistaken for a barbeque skewer, so was it pointed and sharp, while his eyes were red rimmed and his lips had a blue tinge. Some would think he had mixed up his eye shadow and lipstick again.
Scrooge was not the type of person to be stopped in the street by anyone, only by no one. People did not feel inclined to ask of his welfare, passing drivers did not feel inclined to tip their hats and dogs showed their appreciation of him by shitting on his shoes. He subsequently showed his appreciation by reinserting the turd where it came from with the aid of his toe.
When Scrooge walked by, tramps leaped into dustbins, children under the age of sixteen hid in their mother's knickers, boys over sixteen hid in their girlfriend's knickers instead - randy buggers will use any excuse - and guide-dogs jumped off bridges to escape him with unfortunate consequences for their owners.
Not that this bothered Scrooge. It made it easier to get through the crowds in Tesco and meant there was always a free checkout for him.
On a particularly cold Christmas Eve in Scrooge's Counting House, two pieces of coal burned slowly in the fireplace giving off the heat of an ant fart. A large bucket of coal stood beside the hearth but Scrooge refused to burn any more than was strictly necessary to prevent his blood freezing in his veins. A thermometer next to the fireplace was constantly speckled with frost, and occasionally a lost penguin would stray into the office mistaking it for the Arctic Circle. Scrooge charged them a transit fee and sent them on their way.
This day, Scrooge's gaze had fallen on the street outside a number of times. He filed a compensation claim against the council and forced them to repave the road.
Fog rolled in from the sea, drunk on pirate's rum and cursing like a sailor. It was virtually impossible to see from one side of the street to the other, and only the dim glow of window candles signalled that there was anything there at all. They also signalled that all was well, dinner was on the table and a flight from New York was cleared for landing.
Inside the Counting House, Scrooge was counting out his money. Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's one employee, was in toilet blowing his nose which had been runny. I could tell you what a maid was doing in the back alley with a blackbird but it would lead to this book being banned in the UK, although I'm sure it would have no such trouble in America.