Book of the Year for Passing Place
Fantastic news this January as prolific Harvey writer Mark Hayes has been awarded the Steampunk Community Bookshop Book of the Year Award 2021 for his novel, Passing Place.
Mat McCall of SCB writes, “An astounding read. I was brought up on Dahl’s tales of the utterly predictable. The tales Mark Hayes’ weaves are anything but predictable. Clever, twisted, scary, witty and genuinely touching. He touches upon deep truths and wild fantasy like a skilled dancer fitting across a ballroom with equal skill and panache. Mr Hayes is a true master of the storyteller’s art, and it is definitely ‘art’ we are experiencing here.
“We are sucker-punched into this odd duality of a world, like some bar annexe to the Hotel California, full of people, and a knowingly different cat, who can never leave. The characters are archetypes; in fact, they are meant to be so, but they are drawn so realistically and fleshed out so imaginatively you immediately take them to heart. The dialogue is smart and witty, the writing is deceptively easy and accessible, there are no clever tricks here, as it entices us into this place in-between worlds. It sometimes laugh out loud funny, sometimes sad, sometimes truly frightening and consistently brilliant.
“The stories within the story are in themselves spellbinding. Mr Hayes as a narrator is less like Dahl and more like the Pied Piper, with a touch of King’s brilliance. There are knowing nods, bows and winks to so many other tales, writers, tropes and staples across so many genres that I know I missed half of them. I had no idea where this merry Piper’s dance would lead me, I was entranced and yet dreaded every step, but I loved every fleckle and chassé.
“This brilliant, engaging, intriguing dance ends far too soon. Best book I have read this year. In fact, the best book I have read for some time, and I have read some damn good books lately.”
Well done, Mark! And many thanks to Mat and the Steampunk Community Bookshop. If you love steampunk, find out more on Facebook.