Galley Beggar Press

Galley Beggar Press
Galley Beggar Press
Galley Beggar Press is an independent publisher committed to publishing daring, innovative fiction and narrative non-fiction.
Meet Francis Plug, a troubled and often drunk misfit who causes chaos and confusion wherever he goes. And where he most likes to go is to real author events, collecting signatures from the likes of Salman Rushdie, Hilary Mantel, and Eleanor Catton, all the while gleaning advice for a self-help book he is writing with the novice writer in mind. His timely manual promises to be full of sage wisdom and useful tidbits to help ease freshly published novelists into the demands of life in the public eye. Essential reading for anyone with an interest in the literary world – or, in fact, humanity in general. Because while it is a brilliant slapstick comedy, blurring fact, fiction, and absurdity to astonishing effect, How To Be A Public Author by Francis Plug is also a surprising and touching meditation on loneliness and finding a place in the world. Francis, it seems, just doesn’t fit in. And as you read, you may wonder if he’ll even make it to the end of his own book…
First published in 1945, In Youth Is Pleasure recounts a summer in the life of 15-year-old Orvil Pym, who is holidaying with his father and brothers in a Kentish hotel, with little to do but explore the countryside and surrounding area. ‘I don’t understand what to do, how to live’: so says the 15-year-old Orvil – who, as a boy who glories and suffers in the agonies of adolescence, dissecting the teenage years with an acuity, stands as a clear (marvelously British) ancestor of The Catcher In The Rye’s Holden Caulfield. A delicate coming-of-age novel, shot through with humour, In Youth Is Pleasure, has long achieved cult status, and earned admirers ranging from Alan Bennett to William Burroughs, Edith Sitwell to John Waters. ‘Maybe there is no better novel in the world that is Denton Welch’s In Youth Is Pleasure,’ wrote Waters. ‘Just holding it my hands… is enough to make illiteracy a worse crime than hunger.’
In Youth Is Pleasure, Denton Welch
Two stories of disappointment, regret and finely tuned hilarity from Joseph Mackertich. In Obsolescence, a reality television documentary maker starts to film his next door neighbour’s every move — and gets far more than he’s bargained for. In Ad Astra, a man goes hear a speech from the “stockholder’s stockholder”. It’s the ultimate get rich quick conference stump speech — and the last thing that most people in attendance want to hear.
A story that takes place on a train. About building a world out of matchsticks. About brothers. About drinking. About things that matter.
“Raymond Ess is going to kill me.” This is what Steven Strauss thinks. He also thinks that he and his boss Raymond Ess are on a fool's errand. They're in India to buyan anti-gravity machine — something Steven is almost certain doesn’t exist, and something Ess is convinced will save his company from bankruptcy. It's hopeless, everyone knows. At least, Steven knows it — and he knows, too, that his boss’s grip on reality is growing weaker by the day. His fixation on anti-gravity devices is just one more symptom of a failing mind…… Or is Ess, in fact, as crazy as he seems? As you readThe Weightless World, you'll start to wonder. This fantastically entertaining debutstretches the limits of possibility. It shows that when technology becomes indistinguishable from magic, miracles can happen. It shows us our world anew. And as it does, it weaves a tale of friendship, betrayal, and loss that will move the ground beneath your feet.
A bomb blast. A face wound. A nun is there to help. But is it the kind of help that can be freely taken? This beautifully composed story about The Troubles is at once gentle, tender and explosive.
Nun On A Bike, Caroline Healy
You feel the weight of the past behind you. That same weight is being transported up ahead. You go downstairs, open the backdoor and listen to the hiss of lorries on the distant M42. Sometimes that helps a bit. You can't escape the past. Not when the past is someone called Dave who insists — absolutely insists — you're going to remember, you're going to let him into your house, he's going to sleep in your bed, he's going to drink your whisky… This story by Jon Fortgang will make you wonder why you don't have more of an idea of who Jon Fortgang is. It's that good. He's that good.
A new story from our first ever Singles Club author, Michael Stewart, in which, God has some explaining to do. You'd think that a conversation in front of a live audience would be the perfect place to do it. But He thinks otherwise…
At the age of twenty, the novelist Denton Welch suffered a cycling accident that left him partially paralyzed; the injuries that he sustained were to leave him in almost constant pain for the rest of his life, as well as bestowing upon him the spinal tuberculosis that would kill him at the age of 33. A Voice Trough a Cloud — increasingly regarded as Welch's masterpiece — is his account of this accident and the period of convalescence soon after. The unsparing chronicle of the world of a hospital patient — riddled with anger, boredom, almost unbearable stabs of pain and sharp flashes of humour — A Voice Trough a Cloud is, as John Updike wrote in The New Yorker, “An incomparable account of shattered flash and refracted spirit.” His third and final novel, and written at a point when Welch could write for no more than a few minutes a day, A Voice Trough A Cloud is nonetheless possibly one of the most complete accounts of health and mortality; as Edmund White says, it is a book of “long slow dying”, “through which all the world's strangeness can be perceived.”
A moving coming-of-age novel based on the author’s adolescent experiences in China At sixteen, Denton Welch was attending school in Derbyshire, England. One morning, instead of taking the train to school, he caught a bus traveling in the opposite direction with no real plan except to start a new adventure. Although he reluctantly returned to school at his family’s bidding, he soon received a letter postmarked from Shanghai—a letter from his father suggesting that Denton join him China.So began a momentous journey that would shape young Denton Welch’s life. Leaving behind his companions at school as well as the life he had known, he traveled across the globe to China, where he was seized with a sense of wonder completely new to him. It was there, so far from his roots, that young Denton began to explore his ambitions, aspirations, and secret desires.Written with an artist’s keen sensibility for observation and inspired by J. R. Ackerley’s Hindoo Holiday, Maiden Voyage is an unforgettable tale of growing up and discovering oneself.
Maiden Voyage, Denton Wlech
Knotweed grows fast and grows strong. Helena has something growing in her too. Which is just part of the reason she can't live in Hackney any more…
Knotweed, Gary Budden
A wonderful new mini-collection from Galley Beggar favourite and soon to be superstar, Samuel Wright.
We follow a thoroughly unreliable narrator Lamar (a former member of the Memphis mafia who has now been employed by Michael Jackson) as he loses his wife, drinks drugged coffee and sleeps for years at a time, gets shot and dies — an event that only seems to incapacitate him in so far as he can no longer smoke his favourite brand of mini-cigars. His employer, meanwhile, takes part in the last great gold rush of 1898, tries to buy a unicorn from Ebay, starts fights in shopping malls with Uri Geller, forces Lisa Marie Presley to play with his lego and attacks a horse. it took three years to put together Neverland, a novel about «Michael Jackson and his loud mouth friend Uri”. Three years during which, Simon Crump said, Michael Jackson was “with me at home, at work and in my car. He shared my meals and even some of my dreams.” Crump finished the book around 9pm BST on 25 June. The real Michael Jackson was dead less than four hours later.
Neverland, Simon Crump
CJ is Joe's only friend. So Joe isn't happy when Death visits CJ's house. Tony O'Neill once more digs down into the dirt and brings up gems.
Waiting For CJ, Tony O'Neill
The powder was in the top cabinet, behind packs of organic barley and quinoa that we never use. I unwrapped the plastic and took out the bottle. I put on a pair of wash gloves and carefully unscrewed the lid, catching a faint whiff of something, thick, clotted and musty, like a crypt filled with dead spider's webs and moth's wings. I took a tea spoon and scooped out a tiny pinch. It was a dull grey colour. Quick, I stirred it in. A brief fizz as it met the JD and Coke, then nothing. I added two ice cubes. This is a story about an Exploding Zombie Cock by the brilliant James Miller. What more do you need to know?! (If you really have to know more, it definitely lives up the title. And is a bit rude.)
Janet lies murdered beneath the castle stairs, oddly attired in her mother's black lace wedding dress, lamented only by her pet jackdaw… In this, her first novel, Elspeth Barker evokes the unrelenting chill of Calvinism and the Scottish climate; it's a world of isolation and loneliness, where Barker's young protagonist turns to increasingly to literature, nature, and her risque Aunt Lila, who offer brief flashes of respite in an otherwise dank and foreboding life. People, birds and beasts move in a gleeful danse macabre through the lowering landscape in a tale that is as rich and atmospheric as it is witty and mordant. The family motto — Moriens sed Invictus (Dying but Unconquered) — is a fitting epitaph for wild, courageous Janet, and her determination to remain steadfastly herself even as events overtake her.
O Caledonia, Elspeth Barker
Tigh is the latest Pretty Boy on a popular children's TV show. The kids love him. The mums love him even more. So much that Tigh soon finds himself getting into a very sticky mess…
Two very special stories from Benjamin Myers in one ebook. It's our first Galley Beggar Double-A side! The Folk Singer On a hot stormy night in London a music journalist interviews a reclusive female folk singer still living off the royalties off one hit single in the 1970s. Over too many drinks she begins to drop her guard and as thunder cracks over the city what started out as confrontation soon turns into something else entirely… The Folk Song Singer was awarded the Society Of Authors' Tom-Gallon Prize 2014. Los Desaparecidos At a resort in Mexico a young English couple meet Martin Ladore, a wealthy ex-pat who relates a tale of politi and intrigue from his time working in the international oil business. As their holiday progresses the couple find themselves pulled back into a dangerous past that appears to be catching up with this engaging but mysterious stranger.
There is no blurb for The Cruellne.It stands entirely alone. You just have to read it. Trust me. And you just have to know what a Cruellne is. And how to say it… Oh and it's also probably useful to know that James Clammer is a serious talent. A name to remember.
The Cruellne, James Clammer
Beginning in the early 1990s, Randall is a satirical alternative history of the heady years of Cool Britannia and the emergence of the Young British Artists. It asks what would have happened if Damien Hirst had never arrived? If someone else had become the most notorious and influential young British artist? And what if that someone had been more talented, more provocative, more outrageous? And far, far funnier?
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