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From Aberystwyth with Love Paperback – 4 May 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Paperback, 4 May 2009
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (4 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747595194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747595199
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 961,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 '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

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The latest and best "Aberystwyth" book yet shows Malcolm Pryce's imagination is growing wilder and his writing ever more confident: this is the first episode in which Louie and Calamity's case takes them out of Wales - with a trip on the Orient Express to the closed Soviet city of Hughesovka - the only Welsh speaking city in the Eastern hemisphere.

The book begins with a visit from a mysterious Russian, "Uncle Vanya", who asks Louie to investigate the disappearance of a little Welsh Girl, Gethsemane Walters. She vanished from a long since reservoir-drowned Welsh village 30 years ago, and her spirit seems to have possessed Vanya's little daughter Ninotchka shortly afterwards with tragic consequences. Before he can solve the case Louie must learn the dark arts of the spinning-wheel salesman, deal with dangerous snuff philatelists, drink a lot of vodka, and visit a castle in Transylvania, his only payment for the case being one of Yuri Gagarin's socks!

Readers who found Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth too dark will probably enjoy this more, as "From Aberystwyth from Love" opens with a somewhat lighter touch and I found myself laughing more than I usually do at Louie's adventures. This book has an almost entirely new cast of villains (Mrs Llantrisant, Brainbocs and Patagonian veterans are never mentioned), though along the way we will learn of a surprising connection between Clip and a Soviet space mission.
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Format: Paperback
(a phrase that is explained within this novel's pages)

Louie Knight's latest case is a strange one, even by his own somewhat unusual standards. In the midst of his home town's Great Heatwave, a man wearing the uniform of a Russian museum curator and calling himself Uncle Vanya walks into Louie's office and asks him to find his long lost daughter. What this has to do with the 30-year old mystery of the disappearance of Gethsemane Walters, troll brides, the murder of a young woman, Clip the sheepdog's role in the Space Race, games teachers and the dubious wonders of Sospan's Fish Milt Ice Cream Louie and his sidekick Calamity have yet to discover. Worse yet, they will have to make a journey to Hughesovka, a replica Welsh town in the depths of Russia, to find out the full story.

Pryce's last Aberystwyth book, 'Don't Cry for Me Aberystwyth', was a much darker and more sombre affair than the previous three had been. This time the tone is once again a little lighter, though still reflective in places and as always contains the wonderful juxtaposition of the quotidian and the absurd that make his books a joy to read. Perhaps some of this is due to the fact that, as Pryce recounts in the acknowledgements for this work, he struggled with illness during its writing. In any event the writing in this book is remarkably Welsh, full of dense wordplay and heart-on-sleeve lyricism. The style, though still bearing some of the hallmarks of a particular type of detective fiction, has now firmly established its own identity.
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I don't know what goes on in Malcolm Pryce's mind, but I'm awfully glad he gives us little peeks now and again! Despite the absence of many old favourites in this tale (Myfanwy Montez is in a Swiss clinic) Mr Pryce manages to create another totally absurd but un-put-down-able story set not only in Wales, but also Romania and the little known Welsh enclave "Hughesovska". Some more incredible names - my favourite this time has to be Ffanci Llangollen! Just wonderful!! I giggled constantly to myself whilst reading this, but as other reviewers have pointed out, there are some real moments of pathos here and there. Malcolm Pryce can really tug at your heart strings when he wants to, and being able to do that in a totally surreal plot is some achievement. Readers of the previous books can be assured they will enjoy this one every bit as much. I look forward immensely to the next in the series, and will be really very sad when Malcolm Pryce decides its time to say "Arrivederci Aberystwyth". Da Iawn yet again!
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Format: Paperback
I always read the Louie Knight books with my best intentions. I genuinely want to like them. I love the imagery of the covers and the concept, the told tale of a private detective with deadpan one liners and quirky world.

I like the secondary character's, Sospan the ice cream seller, Calamity and Eeyore the donkey walk man. But somehow, I feel the series fails to deliver. I wrote a review on one of the previous books that if the recurring enemies kept popping up, I would stop reading, I'm glad Mr Pryce "listened" to me, but still, there is something not quite right.

I find the plots flimsy, with false clues and dead ends and confusing. I had to re-read the first three pages of Chapter 11 to figure out what was actually going on, which was a bit weird.

I am sure the Aberystwyth series will develop a loyal fan base, and I want to be one of them, but it just is not going to be the case.
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