NGLND XPX (or “England Expects”) is a wonky-wheeled pudding-trolley of sweetmeats and savoury treats for your brain-gland. We recommend a spoonful of everything. It’s all dreadfully civilised fun, and not at all serious. The science is improbable, the history inaccurate, the plots farcical and the fiction splendid.
Within these pages are old people in space, conscripted into the English military (and we have no idea how we’re ever going to get the universe to smell fresh and clean again). The truth about what really happened during the Industrial Revolution is revealed, including full details of that nasty accident with the first half-dozen steam trains, most of the bankers and all of the lawyers. We have mill-owner’s sons rebelling with a spot of ballet, mill-owner’s daughters wantonly playing the cello and mill-owner’s wives demonstrating the noble art of fainting into a small glass of something medicinal from the Orient.
The obligatory migration of the human species away from planet Earth is achieved in über-cheap Virgin Model-T spacecraft - available in any colour you like, so long as you like Virgin red. On high days and holidays we have Her Majesty The Queen meeting, greeting and sipping tea on the lawn with some very nice, very polite aliens, while in her darker moments under threat from rogue comets Her Majesty slips into a pair of rubber gloves and washes the dishes for Europe. The UFOs involved are classic flying saucers and the robots are cute, especially the short one with the trowel and the teddy bear who has to hurriedly invent some ten commandments for the human species (and he only manages four and a half, but they’re good ones). Even the very few zombies involved are extraordinarily polite, upper-crust and quite out of their depth without the help of a maid.
If you love rolling around in parts of the English language that haven’t seen the light of day for a long while, and if you don’t mind the occasional dozy Labrador dog throwing up in his goldfish-bowl space-suit helmet, then this is the book for you. Chin-chin, tickettyboo.
* The Model-T Virgin.
* Begging Your Pardon, My Lord, But Cook’s Been Eaten Again.
* Robots Knitting With Rubber Needles.
* Je Pense It’s All Going Very Bien.
* Footloose, En Pas De Basque.
* In Which Mr Cadwallader Shampoos His Parrot In The Rain Using Some Very Dated Popular Science.
* Diary Of A National Service Chap.
* Blood-Curdling Screams And The Whitworth Screw-Thread.
* The Day The Earth Took Tea.
Written in British english all the way through.
* * * * * 'For an adventure into the wonderfully colourful and no holds barred world of British Satire and Farce type humour, this is the book you've been waiting for. ...'
* * * * * 'Highly recommend to those looking to give their brains (as well as their hearts and their funny bones) a workout. ...'
* * * * * 'I absolutely love Ian Hutson's lively, whimsical prose! His layered stories are entertaining on many different levels. While the concepts he explores are light-hearted, the underlying implications are often a commentary on the foibles of human nature. ...
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About the Author
Born during tiffin in the sea-side town of Cleethorpes, England, in the year nineteen-sixty. The shame and scandal forced the family to move immediately to Hong Kong. There spoke only Cantonese and some pidgin English and was a complete brat. At the end of the sixties was to be found on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Still a brat. Finally learned to read and write under the strict disciplinarian regime of the Nicolson Institute and one Miss Crichton. Then spent a year living in Banham Zoo in Norfolk, swapping childhood imaginary friends for howler monkeys and gibbons. Literally in the zoo, to get home he had to go through the entry turnstiles, past the wolves, past the bears and past the penguins. Didn’t bother with the local school for the entire year, and school was grateful.
Found himself working for the English Civil Service. Was asked to leave by the Home Secretary’s secretary’s secretary’s secretary’s assistant. A few years of corporate life earned some more kind invitations to leave. Ran a few unfortunate companies. Went down the plug-hole with the global economy and found himself in court, bankrupt, with home, car and valuables auctioned off by H.M. Official Receivers. Lived for some years then by candlelight in a hedgerow in rural Lincolnshire as a peacenik vegan hippie drop-out. Now lives on a canal boat, narrowboat Cardinal Wolsey, rushing up and down England’s canals and rivers at slightly over two miles per hour. Wrestles with badgers.
Dog person not a cat person. Dogs and cats both know this.