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Fire Horses Paperback – 31 May 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press Ltd (31 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906558019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906558017
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,683,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Piggott is the author of two novels, "Out of Office" (2010) and "Fire Horses" (2008 ), both published by Legend Press, London. Magazines to have published his short stories and creative non-fiction include Aesthetica, Prole Books, Pulp Books and 3:AM. He's had major features in the Times, Guardian, Independent, Mail, Express, Sunday Express, Telegraph, Observer and more. He has appeared on TV and radio and lectures in creative writing and journalism.

Product Description


Reading Fire Horses is like riding pillion on a motorbike driven by a poet. --Jonathan Trigell

Passionate, powerful, poetic a fine debut from an original talent. --John King

About the Author

Writing has caused Mark a lot of pain but he also names it as his saving grace, his last excuse, his way out of whatever mess he was in at the time. It s simply the only thing he's ever wanted to do (apart from play for Man Utd), and he would recommend it. But only a bit. As well as writing novels, Mark writes features for the nationals, including The Telegraph, Guardian, and Independent, and he has also had short stories published in several collections. He completed an MA in novel writing at the University of Manchester in 2006.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emma French on 15 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback
"You're fire horses, twice over. Conceived and born under the sign. You're the end of the world, you two."

Fire Horses is a contemporary novel written in a poetic literary voice dealing with the hard grit of British life as experienced through Joe Noone. It's about consequences and how Joe has to travel a world that doesn't always make sense whilst his past and future rage against him.

"All the sublime magic of youth had been knocked out of me; I was still wandering, but all the wonder had gone."

Joe doesn't walk a track that commercial demographics would predict walking into Burtons and spending money. He walks off the beaten track. Sometimes invisible, sometimes walking into traps that destroy those around him. He embraces the drinking culture and is wired chemically for sex, yet is a hopeless romantic.

"Hours were lost, the sky darkened, alcohol began to coat my brain and eat away at all the layers of sophistication, culture and self-consciousness."

Blur's, Modern Life is Rubbish, sums up this book well. Yet despite this, or because of this, there is hope and redemption threaded throughout the book. Mark Piggott shows us the rubbish, but embraces it and produces art and a life for Joe that has beauty once Mark has shown you how to look.

Mark Piggott obviously loves his characters. At one point Jo muses, "Only be a passenger if the driver has something to live for," and it could be said the same for Jo as a character in Mark's novel, "Only be the protagonist if Mark gives me something to live for." I can almost see Mark pitching the job to fictional Jo, "It will be bad, real bad. But you'll get to have lots of sex and I'll dangle the carrot of love before you. The money will be shit though.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Mckenzie on 27 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
I discovered Fire Horses through a friend, who had fallen in love with this book, and so I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. And I wasn't let down. The writing is compelling and I was torn between sympathy and dislike for the main character. The novel is scattered with moments of beauty, humour and action that are frankly brilliant and this is probably the best book I have read so far this year and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.
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Format: Paperback
Joe Noone seems to have it all - a beautiful house built into a Mallorca hillside, a comfortable lifestyle, a beautiful girlfriend. Yet it's New Year's Eve 2007 and as fireworks go off around him and people celebrate, he seems sad and, despite being in the middle of a party, strangely lonely. In the rest of the book, through a series of extended flashbacks to various events over the previous 25 years, we gradually discover why.

It's interesting that what hooked me about this book from the first page was the writing rather than the story. Usually it's the other way round - I need to care about the characters, and can't tolerate good writing just for the sake of it. But in this case, while I could have lived without discovering the cause of Joe's malaise, I kept reading simply because I liked the sound of the narrator's voice. I loved the opening image of the ancient village walls absorbing the cheers of gaudy revellers "like bread dipped in wine", and Joe's chewing on an empty grape sac perfectly shows the emptiness of his life amid the firecrackers and celebrations around him.

Fortunately I became more interested in Joe as the story progressed from 1980s Yorkshire adolescence through London squatting, love lives and losses, deaths, betrayals and a lot more. The book is a compelling read, both for the development of Joe through the decades and for the backdrop of Britain changing just as much in the same period. There are some great political comments - again, something I normally don't like too much in fiction, but here they really work well (perhaps because I agree with them!).
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