Thursday, April 03, 2014
Exploits of Engelbrecht Ebook
"To my mind one of the best examples of imaginative fiction to appear in England since the war is Maurice Richardson's The Exploits of Engelbrecht... These 'Chronicles of the Surrealist Sportman's Club' are superbly laconic pieces, concentrating more original invention into fewer words than almost any writer I can think of. They outshine, for me, almost anything else remotely like them, including the stories of Borges and other much admired imaginative writers." -- Michael Moorcock
Written in the 1940s and published in the legendary magazine Lilliput, the stories of Engelbrecht the dwarf surrealist boxer were collected and published in book form in 1950 by Phoenix House. That edition didn't sell very well but it become a 'cult classic', beloved by a small number of highly enthusiastic readers. It was republished by John Conquest in 1977 in an edition that also didn't sell. And then published for a third time by Savoy Books in 2000 in a deluxe edition that sold as poorly as its two predecessors...
...except that recently there seems to have been a very belated surge of interest in Engelbrecht: the Savoy edition has gone to a second printing at last; and a French translation seems to be doing well, better than any of the English editions in fact. My own sequel to Maurice Richardson's masterpiece was one of my slowest selling books, but there also seems to be a belated surge of interest in that one too; it can still be obtained from Dead Letter Press for only $30. It's a very beautiful book indeed.
One person who took note of my sequel was Richardson's daughter, Celia, who got in touch with me. It occurred to me that what was needed was a low cost edition of her father's book. We discussed this idea and she gave me the rights to publish an ebook version of The Exploits of Engelbrecht under the aegis of my own Gloomy Seahorse Press. And after various delays it is finally here!
It can be obtained from Amazon as follows:
Formatting this one proved very tricky because it's full of unusual layouts.... Anyway, out of all my books it's the one I slaved most over and is packed with more incident than days in a millennium... You don't have to read the original to understand the sequel as it's a stand-alone novel as well.
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