Friday 1 March 2024

My Life in Orbit

New novel My Life in Orbit to be published by Everything With Words, out July 11th!

Fantasticus Autisticus, his best friend Olly calls him now. He doesn’t really get it, but then he’s got other things on his mind. There’s the weekly haircut, his ritual orbit of the high street, and meeting his grown-up daughter for the first time at two o'clock.

But his day does not go to plan. First he is roped into Olly’s haphazard attempt to recover money stolen from his fellow orbiter of the high street, Ahmet. Along the way he bumps into Teigan, who he longs to speak to but can never find the words. And then the nagging voice in his head he calls Daddy commands him to prepare his life story for his daughter. All of it.

And so he remembers. Growing up the only child of a single mother in poverty. The undefinable thing about him that made him different at school. His unlikely escape to university, and the teachings of a nineteenth century mystic.

Along the way, there are moments of both triumph and disaster, of love, friendship, and death. There are comic books (31,284 of them to be precise). And all of it has been leading to this day, when the orbit must break, and everything changes…

If anything from this century could have made PG Wodehouse chuckle it might have been this. Look around you on the street, wherever you are: these characters are all there, even slightly less real than they are in these pages they're the ones trying not to look back. The star of this book won't much like the word exquisite, and I don't like it much either but I have to use it here.

DBC Pierre, author of Vernon God Little

What a voice is contained within these pages; hilarious, heartbreaking, completely convincing, superbly sustained, wholly marvellous. I fell in love with Fantasticus Autisticus on page one and I'm now missing his company. He is a fantastic and unique creation. This is one of those books that change how you see the world; your outlook on life and the place in which you live it will be revitalised and refreshed and renewed. It is a vital piece of work that fulfils a vital function. Would that more novels did.

Niall Griffiths, author of Broken Ghosts

Absolutely brilliant. At times quietly heartbreaking and hopeful, and seasoned with dark humour. Much recommended.

Dave Hutchinson, author of Fractured Europe

My Life in Orbit takes us deep into the mind of an unforgettable central character with a unique way of looking at the world. Harangued by internal voices, plagued by indignities, he faces a daily struggle for equilibrium and self-determination. Richard Blandford's deftly written and highly readable novel is a feat of empathy, and for all its darkness, ultimately hopeful.

Chris Parker, author of Nameless Lake

A fine coming-of-age story with subtle strains of Vonnegut and Pynchon. Funny in places, heartfelt in others. A splendid read.

Mark Thomas, author of The Bothy and Dry Cleaning




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