The Magical Tragical Life of Edward Jarvis Huggins by Stuart Ayris

edward jarvis hugginsHere we have a fine collection of characters: some heroes, some villains, but mainly people doing what we all do – getting through life as best we can. A supernatural element runs through it and we are led to a finish that is signposted at various stages in the book. When the expected end duly arrives there was no sense of anti-climax; instead I nodded with approval and thought, ‘Yes, that’s how it had to be.’

If you haven’t yet read a Stuart Ayris book then I urge you to do so. But you need to set aside any preconceptions about what a novel ought to be, then relax and let the author take you on an adventure where you will laugh, cry and sing – possibly all at the same time.

Both the author’s exuberance and his concern for his fellow man shine through. If the precise word that he needs doesn’t exist, either for meaning or to simply sound right in the context, then he creates a new one – and we know instinctively just what it means. He breaks away from the storyline to have personal chats with the reader. Although this tale is set in 18th century England, lines from 20th century songs appear. This may sound like chaotic literary anarchy, but it’s hugely entertaining. In amongst the humour and pathos are very perceptive comments on what is generally referred to as the human condition.

It’s a unique style and one that really works for this reader. More reviews can be found on Amazon The Magical Tragical Life of Edward Jarvis Huggins

Tollesbury Time Forever by Stuart Ayris

Cover image of Tollesbury Time Forever.This book is the first in what the author has entitled his ‘Frugality’ trilogy. When I read it I had no idea that two more were to follow. It is one of those rare books that actually deserves the ‘literary’ tag, being an expression of ideas and philosophy rather than action. Apart from being literary, it defies genre classification. It is essentially an exploration of mental health issues and we are taken into the thought processes of Simon Anthony, a sufferer from mental illness, who lives in the village of Tollesbury in the Essex marshes.

The author has a unique style. Thoughts and words flow in an uninhibited stream. If a word has the meaning he seeks, but doesn’t sound right within the context, he makes up his own word. At times the prose has a rhythm and a beauty that is captivating. Poetry, prose and song lyrics all blend together.

The author is a mental health nurse, with his own problems. There is a feeling that this is a book that had to be written. That feeling continues through the other two books in the trilogy.

This is a book that can change attitudes – and there aren’t many of those around.

I bought my copy for Kindle from Amazon where print copies are also available. Tollesbury Time Forever: FRUGALITY: Book 1