Monday, 15 October 2018

#BlogTour The Black Prince by Adam Roberts and Anthony Burgess

Many days late and a dollar short it's my turn on the BlogTour for The Black Prince, adapted from the original of Anthony Burgess, by Adam Roberts. It's an interesting one, because taking on the task of finishing the work of an author such as Anthony Burgess is no small deed. The expectations are a lot higher than in comparison to someone just publishing their own work.

'Adam Roberts has worked with the full cooperation of the Burgess Foundation to bring unpublished material from one of the twentieth century’s literary titans to light, author of A Clockwork Orange, Inside Mr Enderby and Earthly Powers.'

About the Author
Adam Roberts is a writer, critic and academic. He is the author of sixteen novels and many shorter works, including the prize-winning Jack Glass (2012). His most recent novel is The Real-Town Murders (2017). He is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, and has published critically on a wide range of topics, including nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction and science fiction. He lives in the south-east of England.

Follow @arrroberts @unbounders on Twitter
Buy The Black Prince

About the book
‘I’m working on a novel intended to express the feel of England in Edward III’s time ... The fourteenth century of my novel will be mainly evoked in terms of smell and visceral feelings, and it will carry an undertone of general disgust rather than hey-nonny nostalgia’ – Anthony Burgess, Paris Review , 1973

The Black Prince is a brutal historical tale of chivalry, religious belief, obsession, siege and
bloody warfare. From disorientating depictions of medieval battles to court intrigues and betrayals, the campaigns of Edward II, the Black Prince, are brought to vivid life by an author in complete
control of the novel as a way of making us look at history with fresh eyes, all while staying true
to the linguistic pyrotechnics and narrative verve of Burgess’s best work.
This is based on unpublished material by Anthony Burgess, and the most important thing to remember whilst reading this is that Roberts has tried to stay true to the very distinctive style of Burgess. If you have every read or watched Clockwork Orange it will give you a sense of what to expect.

The focus of the novel is on the Black Prince and the revisiting of the battles he was involved in, starting at the tender age of sixteen when his encounter with a brave king becomes a lifelong symbol of perseverance and determination.

Instead of a narrative you have to imagine a type of a flashback experience, a searching of the soul and sometimes an attempt at a cleansing of conscience. Not just by the Black Prince but by people from all walks of life, from plague victims, clergymen, mercenaries to important historical figures.

Roberts has taken an interesting step by including modern moments like imagined press releases to break the momentum, perhaps in an attempt to make readers connect the past with the present.
It is a very visceral read. It's an attempt to draw the reader inside the hearts and heads of the characters, and to try and let them experience the emotions and turmoil themselves.

I think one of the elements I enjoyed the most was the reality check when it comes to The Black Prince. Roberts gives us the more likely rendition of events, as opposed to the often romanticised view of certain figures in history.

It's a very specific style which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Roberts does do the Burgess style justice and it is definitely worth the read.

Buy The Black Prince at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Unbound

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