The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathon Fairfax Paperback – 1 Jun 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"You can’t help being tickled" - The Guardian
"Not many books make me laugh out loud, but The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathon Fairfax is one of them… A comic gem" - Stylist magazine
"Shevlin was rightly picked up by the literary agency that represents the likes of David Nicholls" - Metro magazine
Amazon UK bestseller: #1 Political Humour, Top 10 Humorous Fiction, Top 20 Humour
When Jonathon Fairfax accidentally helps a murderer bump off Sarah Morecambe, the secretary of a senior politician, he sets off a chain of events that astonishes him. Jonathon is wrong-footed by even the most everyday things, so he’s particularly shocked to find himself caught up in a conspiracy that goes right to the heart of government.
Teaming up with a suave private investigator, a glamorous grannie and the probable love of his life, Jonathon must confront his greatest fears - including talking to girls and balaclava-clad killers - and answer some very difficult questions. Who murdered Sarah Morecambe? What is the strange secret that unites the entire British government? And what exactly does it feel like to kiss a real-life woman?
With its naïve, reluctant hero and wry look at life, The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathon Fairfax has been compared to books by Douglas Adams, Carl Hiaasen and PG Wodehouse.
“When Christopher Shevlin sat down to write this book, the spirit of Douglas Adams sidled up next to him and said, ‘Here, let me help you.’ This book is probably – definitely – the funniest thing I have read since The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.” Geek Boy, Amazon.com
“It reminded me of a very English Carl Hiaasen – filled with throwaway detail, joyously funny dialogue and slightly absurd characters.” Francesca Brown, Stylist magazine
“In the same vein as ‘The 100 year old man that climbed out of a window’, it's a non-stop page turner. Great stuff!!!” Andy, Amazon UK
“Shevlin has been compared to Wodehouse, and I'm sure he'll garner more compliments as the book is read. I would give it 11 if I could.” posh sith, Amazon UK
“If you like tight writing, a great pace, smart references and laughing, this book will be on your top five list! Like reading an Arrested Development script.” Bridget Aureli, Amazon.com
“I sincerely hope there will be another work from this author in the near future, to my way of thinking he is up there with Stella Gibbons and Saki.” lizzieay, Amazon UK
“Shevlin's writing style, his wonderful way with eccentric characters, and his knack for combining kindness, silliness, and more than a few touching surprises, all fill a spot left by Adams.” Avery Elizabeth Hurt
Some more reactions...
“I was laughing so much whilst reading it that my son downloaded it at the same time so we could laugh together.” CJB, Amazon UK
“New year's celebrations became an unwanted distraction as I couldn't tear myself away from Jonathon and gang. You have been warned.” Liz Palmen, Amazon UK
“I can’t wait for more. It made me laugh on the tube. It made me happy.” T Forsdyke, Amazon UK
About the Author
Christopher Shevlin grew up in Doncaster, in Yorkshire, and consoled himself for it by reading a lot. His favourite authors include Douglas Adams, Henry Howarth Bashford, Geoffrey Willans, Thackeray and PG Wodehouse. After school he worked briefly as a door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman in Yorkshire and as a labourer in Tel Aviv. At 23 he moved to London, where he has stayed ever since. He works as a freelance, helping companies to write better - by training, coaching, advising and doing the writing himself. His desk is clogged up with novels that he hasn't finished writing. The first completed book to emerge from the pile is The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathon Fairfax, which he hopes you enjoy. To find out more, visit his website: christophershevlin.com.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
It is very funny, well written, charming, intelligent and although it could, if it wanted to, swagger about being blatantly cool it has chosen to do it in a modest unassuming way (which, of course, is way cooler).
If you need cheering up or just need entertaining then I recommend it 100%. And no, I don't know the author.
This is Shevlin's first published novel (I think - I haven't seen any more - maybe there are hundreds!). It's an absolute joy to see a new, self-assured, funny,light-hearted comedy voice emerge through this book.
The author pretty much invites us to compare the book with Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently books. That's a brave thing to do, considering Douglas Adams is one of our great comedy stylists. Gulp. But this actually stacks up creditably against Adams' work - and is not dissimilar. It's witty, erudite, and long on well-described set pieces where things happen... quite slowly... but are described in very interesting ways. The down sides are that the plot sometimes plays second fiddle to the author's love of wordsmithing; and the narrative voice is so distinctive that it can overwhelm the different characters.
But Shevlin doesn't need to lose any sleep because these are criticisms which could fairly also be levelled at Douglas Adams too - so he's in august company. When it comes to the plot of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detetctive Agency, Douglas Adams himself freely admitted he didn't understand what the hell was going on for most of it.
It's worth saying this is not a Douglas Adams pastiche; Shevlin is still emerging from the Douglasian shadows, (as are many writers!) but is very much his own man. It's particularly pleasing the way humorous asides are included but not clunkingly pointed out.Read more ›
So, what can I say then that sounds intelligent but not contrived? I can start by remarking that The PAJF (for short) represents an echo of Tom Sharpe styled British farce: a common man embroiled in a contrived yet funny plot that goes to the higher echelons of government, and whose involvement is, at best, inadvertent.
It seems almost timeless: there aren't contemporary references that allow you to place when this is set. Initially, I felt it was in the 1980s but it could be this year. And that is one of the many facets that I found attractive. It wasn't trying too hard to be something. It is just having fun. And what is wrong with that? Why does literature need to be complex all the time. Mr Shevlin is telling a witty and engaging story. And for that I award him and his tome a full 5 stars....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Managed to put a smile on my face all over the book... Worth summer reading! Jonathon is a kind of a superhero :)Published 6 days ago by Mario
Loved it! Every character sparkled their way through an improbable sequence of events in such a way that everything seemed entirely believable. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Lora Corr
The first couple of pages are great, but then it goes downhill very quickly. The writing style is supremely irritating and I got the impression it had been written by someone with... Read morePublished 1 month ago by B L
So, here goes my first Amazon review - like, ever! Um... what a S*** book! Shevlin doesn't seem to have ANY idea what he's doing. Like, hello?! Worst writer ever? Read morePublished 1 month ago by MG
This book has a style of its own. It is funny, charming and clever. It keeps you guessing, the plot is delightful. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Angela Simpson
Crackers, funny, fast, irreverent, unexpected, intuitive - a delight to read, and I would recommend unconditionally. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Gently amusing rather than laugh out loud, some bits were extremely funny but it was a bit patchy. However I think you should buy a copy! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Partridge