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Whirligig [Paperback]

Magnus Macintyre
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 April 2013
Claypole is not a large man . He is a fat man. A fat man with thin limbs, like an egg with tentacles. And life is not going well. He's alone, idle, and on the brink of a medical crisis when a childhood acquaintance makes him an offer he can't understand, can't talk about, but ultimately can't refuse.

A week later, and he finds himself in the wilds of Scotland, plunged into an eccentric community at war over a wind farm. And he's supposed to be a backer, but he has no idea what side he's on, even though it may bag him a lot of money. All he wants is to look like a hero in front of the woman with the bright blue eyes who brought him here. To do so he must run the gauntlet of a family with many dark secrets, some dangerous hippies and their hallucinogenic potions, and the wilderness itself with all its threats and dangers.

Whirligig is a raucous, joyous, often poignant comedy about the redemptive power of the countryside. Written with peerless wit, it's a timely fable that takes its place within the tradition of the Great English Comic Novel. It's The Wicker Man as told by P.G. Wodehouse.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780721277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780721279
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Magnus Macintyre grew up in suburban Oxford and rural Argyll, and read History at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has been a serial entrepreneur in magazine publishing, film, television, and wind farming, with varying degrees of success. Only once has he had a proper job, as managing director of the New Statesman. He now lives in Somerset with Lucie and their two children, and writes full time. Whirligig is his first novel.

Product Description

Review

"Whirligig has an impressively immersive sense of wry, often brilliantly dark involvement. Its voice is strong and clear and fresh and rousing. Like a bagpipe." --Jez Butterworth, author of Jerusalem

"This is a book I wish I'd written, and a story I loved to read." --Hardeep Singh Kohli

"A strong and very funny story... Macintyre has created a hilarious parody of the City man, in all his impractical glory."--The Times

"Told with wit and verve...[and] with real clarity, it is not hard to imagine this story transferring easily to television." --The Spectator

About the Author

Magnus Macintyre grew up in suburban Oxford and rural Argyll, and then read History at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has been a serial entrepreneur in magazine publishing, film, television, and wind farming, with varying degrees of success. Only once has he had a proper job, as managing director of the New Statesman. He now lives in Somerset with Lucie and their two children, and writes full time. Whirligig is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very funny 25 April 2013
Format:Paperback
A very funny, somewhat daft book which made me laugh out loud throughout - I especially enjoyed the description of the totally incompetent, tweed-clad organist with her uncontrollable instrument and the idea of a landscape looking as if the BBC were staging their 'biggest and baddest Jane Austen yet'! A perfect read when you are in need of a good chuckle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking First Novel 21 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In which the hapless Gordon Claypole is catapulted to the Highlands of Scotland to win a local community over to a wind farm. He was brought here by Peregrine MacGilp, a frighteningly amicable local laird, but he has no idea why. He knows nothing and cares less about green energy and Scotland. Only one thing keeps him here, a necessarily vague desire to win the favour of Peregrine's niece, the elusive Coky (I won't spoil the revelation of her full name) who first spurned Claypole (we see in an achingly well observed prologue) on a childhood holiday here 25 years ago. An unflagging cavalcade of Kafkaesque episodes follow, in which (inter much alia) Claypole finds himself dining with a gardner who talks like Shakespeare, evaporating at a shroom-fuelled Lochside rave, rowing for dear life across a black choppy sea and reluctantly delivering a foal by starlight. It all ends happily, of course, although not exactly as we might have thought ....

Although his first book, Macintyre is a born novelist, with an intuitive sense of pace, focus and timing. His vigorous, angular style is all his own, although some of his wilder conceits are reminiscent of Martin Amis - an altogether good thing, of course, and the master himself might sensibly look with envy at a lot of them (my own favourite was a hangover in which the teeth "sing" and the hair "aches"). And like all great comic novels, it also knows how to be tender and when to be serious. Once you've stitched your sides back together, you realise it's a deeply felt celebration of wild Scotland, responsible capitalism and edible gardens.

The photo shows us the author standing in a country lane, next to a wooden cart, in a Withnailian pose of tentative pugnacity. No need. I only hope there will now be an endless spool of novels as charming, hilarious and passionate as this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eco Warriors & Outcasts 4 May 2014
By Jane
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good easy read.
I enjoyed this - all the characters were and I particularly warmed to the leading man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By wez
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great book which I would recommend to anyone. The story and characters are fun, courageous and interesting. Unravelling new twists through out the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely escape to Scotland 19 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely lovely book peppered with issues that Scotland has been working with for a long time. It reminded me at times of an old fashioned film such as Whisky Galore and was as comforting in to read in the heart of winter as a hot toddy and freshly baked shortbread.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected pleasure 17 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Curiosity made me choose this book as a holiday read, and as I didn't get round to it on holiday,have only just read it. An interesting array of characters, not all likeable, but this doesn't detract from a really enjoyable and satisfying read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and wholeheartedly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, moving and original 3 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased Whirligig on a whim in the Kindle sale, and ended up falling completely in love. The writing is sharp, funny and engaging, the story is perfectly paced and engrossing, the reluctant hero of the story is refreshingly unconventional and relatably flawed, and the supporting characters are rounded and complex. The Scottish highlands provide a beautiful backdrop for this story about striking a balance between nature and progress, and the theme of redemption through nature stole my heart. Whirligig was a pleasure to read, and I look forward to reading more from this promising new author. I'd give it four-and-a-half stars if I could!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unexpected, warm and funny 12 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. The characters, setting and storyline are all surprising and convincing. I was sorry to finish it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Phnarr phnarr
This is a knockabout pantomime of a book, highly reminiscent of Tom Sharpe, full of gross caricatures where there should be characters, Carry-on movie comedy-type dialogue,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kartowidjojo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun
You know you're in very good hands right from the start here, which means you can just relax and enjoy the fun. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kindle Surprise
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy the film rights if you can
Magnus Macintyre knows what he's doing. In a deft first novel, the picaresque Claypole has echoes of Amis' John Self with a hint of Magnus Mill's gift for darkness. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mr. S. Larter
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, well-written and very engrossing
This is a gently comic joy. The characters are extremely well-written and the story pulls you in effortlessly. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Steve Hunter (steve.hunter@rrpv.com)
5.0 out of 5 stars LoL from start to finish - what an incerdible first novel!
Whirligig is one of the funniest books I've read in years and I highly recommend it. The author may not thank me for saying this but I liken the pace and tone of the dramatic... Read more
Published 14 months ago by David Sheridan
5.0 out of 5 stars Mactintyre
What a fantastic read, full of deft characterization and with an absurd plot. The author has really assured comic timing and a superb turn of phrase that made me laugh out loud... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Sean
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