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Stranger Than Fulham Paperback – 6 Apr 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (6 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099273543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099273547
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,809,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Baylis also known as M.H. Baylis and Matt Baylis was born in Nottingham in 1971, and grew up in Southport, Merseyside.

His chief literary influences were, he says, Coronation Street and National Geographic magazine. The soap opera gave him a love of stories, particularly stories about real people in very specific times and places. National Geographic taught him to see the whole world, near and far, as an exotic tribe.

His love of both has taken him to some interesting places: after a spell as a storyliner on 'EastEnders', he set up soap operas in Cambodia and Kenya, and spent time on the remote Pacific island of Tanna, Vanuatu. He is also the only British scriptwriter ever to have had a film shown at the Pyongyang International Film Festival. He speaks Bislama pidgin badly, but not as badly as he speaks Romany.

He writes a daily tv review column in the Daily Express, and he lives in Haringey, the London borough so beloved of his fictional hero, Rex Tracey. He would quite like to have been a Dean Martin style club crooner, but really, his only great ambition was to write crime novels. Which he does.

His all-time favourite authors are : Emanuel Litvinoff, Simon Brett, Evelyn Waugh and John le Carre. But if he was confined to the last five years, he'd choose Anya Lipska, Louise Millar, Charles Cummings and Oliver Harris.

If he was stranded on a desert island, he'd require the complete works of all the above, plus every episode of Hill Street Blues, Cagney and Lacey, Minder and Brookside on dvd.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Matthew Baylis writes story-lines for EastEnders and so it is perhaps no surprise that the protagonist of his debut novel, Alistair Strange, should have such difficulty turning off the television set. Alistair loves the telly. Any telly. Falcon Crest, The Sullivans, Take the High Road are all much more convincing and interesting to him than is real life, so it is something of a jolt when he eventually departs the weird embrace of his family--they are indeed strange by name and by nature--for Fulham and a job in vanity publishing. Baylis is good on the tacky minutiae of contemporary London life: "The Midnight Lounge of the Massada Hotel, W12, has none of the atmosphere of midnight, but a fair spattering of Massada", and has concocted an ingeniously diverting plot. There is a touchingly accurate love interest, a wry appreciation of the ghastliness of work in general and office life in particular and a neatly staged denouement that, sort of, pulls the whole thing together. Stranger than Fulham is, all in all, an assured debut from a stylish new voice. And yes, it would make a great TV show. --Nick Wroe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A work rich in humour and insight (Independent on Sunday)

A hotbed of lust and intrigue... Byalis has created a world which intertwines sparky characters from all walks of life. Engrossing and fast-paced (The Face)

A narrative voice that is original enough to get noticed and is pickled in black humour (Daily Mail)

An excellently written and consistently funny book whose harsh, archly written observations on the absurdities of urban living make great reading (Big Issue)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "doctor_vison" on 7 Oct 2000
Format: Paperback
If Matthew Baylis starts 'Stranger Than Fulham' trying to write an extended observation piece on what London is like for moneyless young men, he quickly reverts to type, and his soap opera roots soon dominate. The result is a book in which plot is largely forgotten until the last fifty pages, when every character discovers a family secret, a long-lost parent or confronts their own dark side. That is entertaining enough, but it is far from the grim humour of real life which is where Baylis has set out his stall. If he wants us to laugh and nod in recognition, he is well capable of it, but he should avoid demolishing his own credibility because of his fondness for sudden, bizarre revelations about his characters. This would have made a superb short, and it is not a bad novel, but to reach the heights Baylis seems to be reaching for at his outset, he should throw out the Dynasty stuff - it's beneath him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally on 8 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Matthew Baylis is a real discovery: funny, street-wise, and brilliant at portraying contemporary London. Each of the three novels is set in a different postcode. This one, like the others, is accurate and hilarious, borderig on farce.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb 2000
Format: Paperback
That's all the Alistair Strange wants to be. But everyone knows that, that's not half as easy as it sounds. Especially, when the woman you love is a nutter, your brother is a seven foot sexaholic with a bathing problem, and you have a Corrie Street obsession. Add in a job in a less than level publishing company and a former classmate who's getting a sex change, and a lesser man might give up. But it's all in a day for Alistair, and maybe just getting through the day with your humanity in tact is what being a good guy is all about...
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