YOU'RE NOT DEAD: THE MIDNIGHT BOOKS (VOLUME 1)
Books | Literature & Fiction | Genre Fiction | Dark Fantasy
Paperback & Hardcover (Now Available)
6 x 9 inches | 340 pages
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You’re Not Dead is a darkly comic fantasy, with elements of romance. The hero Miles Proctor is a young college lecturer, on the trail of the last remaining copy of a notorious Victorian book. Transmutations: The Book of Magic is an occult treatise, which claims to be not merely about Magic, but about how to perform spells and become adept at enchantment.
A series of hilarious accidents takes Miles to New York, California and Death Valley before he finally locates it. By this time he has begun a romance with Becky Morrell, bookseller and co-traveller. On reading the book Miles finds that it has the property of appearing to change its words, each time it is read. He develops his own occult skills, including the ability to alter events, and to travel to the destinations pictured in photographs by focussing on the photograph.
However a presence from beyond, a murderous (if comic) Glaswegian gangster trapped in limbo, begins to invade his consciousness in search of the book as a means to escaping his own twilight zone. Miles’ adventures lead him back into the past and the mysteries of his father’s double life. Miles has joined a coven of magicians in London who discover that he is working more for himself than for the benefit of their capers, which include the quest for an ancient amulet with the power to buy time, but even as they attempt revenge the group comes explosively apart. Weighing in on Miles’ side are a number of supernatural presences, including the ghost of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, but the story still has many surprises in store. Things are not always what they seem, in the worlds of either white or black magic – especially when Miles’ magic manual starts to work in unexpected ways..
You’re Not Dead is the first of the Midnight Books, in which magic, dreams, romance and crime are the ingredients in the fictional spell.
“Geoff Ward’s glitteringly funny and scary novel sends his hero Miles on a wild pursuit, through this world and the next, of one of only three known copies of the rarest book in existence. Like the object of his obsessive quest, You’re Not Dead is both supreme fiction and grail, a one-off exemplar of a lost original.” – John Ashbery, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
"This is better than Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and up there with Christopher Priest's The Prestige. Like an occult On the Road, Ward takes us across America in a hocus-pocus-revelry of history, time, music and fantasy. Looking forward to the rest of the series." - Amazon (UK)
"The writing was so good I found myself just going back to read some passages again just to enjoy them again. Can't wait for next two in the trilogy and anything else that might be to come from this author." - Amazon (UK)
"An extraordinarily original and inventive novel. Very much looking forward to reading the next in this series." - Amazon (UK)
"Fantastic! The author clearly went to midnight crossroads returning with a crazily brilliant mix of magic, blues, bibliomania and noir fiction. As if Robert Leroy Johnson and Thomas de Quincey have collaborated on a heady and savage twenty-first century transatlantic campus novel. Pure mental!" - Amazon (UK)
"Hilarious, weird and lots of fun. Love Miles!" - Amazon (UK)
You're Not Dead is a brilliant debut novel which rushes though its landscape of magic and music with un-put-down-able precision. It seems to align itself with several literary traditions simultaneously, from the surreal grail-quests of Infinite Jest and Inherent Vice, to the claustrophobic European novels of the fin de siècle. The reading-experience is archaeological, uncovering layer after layer of cultural history. You're Not Dead grabs at everything." - Amazon (UK)
"You're Not Dead is one of the most original novels I have read in recent years." - Amazon (US)
"Like the book that re-writes itself every time we read, the playful fantasies and sometimes erudite humor of You’re Not Dead remind us in a fresh and heartfelt way that, if we allow ourselves to stop and think about our most basic experiences of language and memory, time and reality or merely re-clothe them in the language of the occult, we realize that they really are magic. This novel, in the words of Miles' father, reminds us to make all you can of your quicksilver life." - Amazon (UK)