Cross Country Murder Song – read it first on Kindle

Phil Wilding's Cross Country Murder Song for Kindle on AmazonIf, like us, you’re looking forward to seeing finished copies of Cross Country Murder Song – the new novel by broadcaster and Essential author Phil Wilding – then there’s still over a month to wait before books arrive in stores. Owners of Amazon’s Kindle in the UK can start reading right now though, as the e-Book version is already on sale.

Wilding’s much-anticipated novel, which will be published by Jonathan Cape in February, has been chosen to be made available for Kindle before it’s available in print. With the Kindle having now appeared outside of the US, it’s yet another sign of the rise and rise of the digital book.

The Cross Country Murder Song e-Book is available in Kindle form from

Word, lots of swearwords

Further to his Today programme bleepfest Pete Silverton has now  joined Mark Ellen and David Hepworth to light up Word magazine’s latest podcast. Here’s what they say about it:

swearocastPete Silverton’s Filthy English is sub-titled “the how, why, when and what of everyday swearing”. He joined us in the pod to talk, in wholly unexpurgated fashion, about the history, culture and – let’s face it – humour of swearing. We’ve covered the derivation of the word testicles, the things that made Shakespeare’s audience snigger, the contrasting swearing habits of Catholic and Protestant countries, the key turning points in the history of swearing on TV, what Nick Cave said when he was told not to and how The Wire made poetry out of that four syllable epithet.

The podcast is available to stream from Word magazine or via iTunes.

A f**king good morning to you

Filthy English coverThe BBC has recently been forced to move their ‘watershed’ barriers back an hour, making it impossible for anyone to talk bollocks (and especially fucking bollocks) on Aunty’s airwaves until after 10pm. How does one circumvent this unnatural state of affairs? By writing a book titled Filthy English and getting John Humphrys to engage with it – bleeps and all – before 8 am on Radio 4’s Today programme.

Which is precisely what Essential author Pete Silverton has pulled off, going by the sound of his satisfying and apposite one-word example of how ineffably effective the word can sometimes be: “clusterfuck” – the grounds on which a Liverpudlian friend turned down a top job at the Olympics, believing it would be just that. Hard to beat for verbal gumption.

The subtext to all those bleeps is this: language is organic and so are swear words. As Silverton points out, our parents’ generation used “bloody” and bugger” but never the F-word. While our grandparents who resorted to “damned” were outraged by “bloody” – fixed forever in our minds by that Shavian moment when Eliza Doolittle erupts with “Not bloody likely!” – a term that had never before been uttered at His Majesty’s Theatre. “Damned” once had strong religious connotations that simply no longer held.

Completely free of Whitehall-washing “meeting of targets”, ”rigorous standards” and “stimulus”, Humphrys and Silverton’s unblinking, prime-time examination of filth came as a gust of fresh air.

You can listen to the full Silverton-Humphrys encounter on the BBC website. There’s also a glowing review of Filthy English in The Observer.

May Pang at the White Feather: Spirit of Lennon opening

Rare photos of John Lennon by Essential author May Pang are currently on show in Liverpool. The exhibition, entitled White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon, has been put together by Lennon’s first wife Cynthia and son Julian and it provides a uniquely intimate insight into the life of the Lennon family .

May Pang (right) with John Lennon's first wife Cynthia (left) and son Julian (middle).

May Pang (right) with John Lennon's first wife Cynthia (left) and son Julian (middle).

May Pang’s images, taken from her book Instamatic Karma, look great blown up large – as May’s snaps from her trip to Liverpool for the exhibition opening (below) show. Each picture has been reproduced at a massive 20″ × 30″ (roughly 50cm × 75cm).

As readers of the book will know, May Pang was Yoko Ono’s assistant. Instructed to keep John happy, Pang developed a very close relationship with the Beatles star. Her photographs capture him in locations from New York to Los Angeles and the Nevada desert, with friends including Harry Nilsson, Elton John, and Ringo Starr. There are also charming images of Lennon playing with the young Julian.

White Feather: Spirit of London is on at the Beatles Story Pier Head, within Liverpool’s sparkling new Mersey Ferries terminal. The show runs until the end of December. For full details, see the exhibition website. For more of May’s pictures, see her MySpace page or browse prints available for purchase.



Where May goes, her camera follows. Here she is at the family home of original Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe.

Where May goes, her camera follows. Here she is at the family home of original Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe.

A new book from Seth Freedman

Our client and Guardian blogger of the year, Seth Freedman is currently getting a lot of press for his new book.

Binge Trading is partly an account of his life as a trader in London’s Square Mile, and partly a documentary of life in the City.  Seth interviewed some of the traders and dealers who he worked with before leaving the City to join the Israel Defense Force in 2006, and conjures from them astounding and revelatory stories that are at once shocking and sad. The book, published by Penguin, provides insight into how addictive personalities are attracted to the job, and the effect that the pressures, expectations and rewards involved in it, can have on them and their families.

Seth Freedman is one of the authors we represent and has previously written Can I Bring My Own Gun?. He continues to be a regular contributor to Guardian.

Below is a flyer that Penguin had handed out around the City of London, to publicise Binge Trading. Smiths Travel outlets have made it a  best seller and reviews so far have been very favorable.


Around the world with Daisy Dooley

One of the fun things about selling foreign language rights in our own books and for the authors we represent is the excitement of seeing other publishers’ take on a familiar book cover. The latest foreign edition to arrive on the Essential Works doormat was the Lithuanian edition of Daisy Dooley Does Divorce, by Anna Pasternak.

Random House Ebury imprint Vermilion first published Daisy Dooley Does Divorce in the UK in 2007. Since then, as the covers below show, it’s attracted publishers around the world. After the UK hardback and paperback editions (first two covers, top row), came an American edition from 5 Spot (top row, third from left), a Dutch edition from H&W (top right), a German edition from Diana Verlag (bottom left and, second from left, as a club edition), a Czech edition from Baronet (bottom row, third from left) and, now, a Lithuanian edition from Alma Littera (bottom right).

International editions of Daisy Dooley Does Divorce.