Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this fantastic blog tour for; Anyone For Edmund by Simon Edge. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, first I want to say thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for the complimentary copy and for inviting me onto this tour. Now on to the book itself, I hope you love it as much as I do.
Anyone For Edmund by Simon Edge
Genre: Contemporary, Comedy Fiction
Publisher: Lightning Books
Release Date: 1st September 2020
They dug up his bones. They didn’t know he had a mind of his own.
Under tennis courts in the ruins of a great abbey, archaeologists find the remains of St Edmund, once venerated as England’s patron saint, but lost for half a millennium.
Culture Secretary Marina Spencer, adored by those who have never met her, scents an opportunity. She promotes Edmund as a new patron saint for the United Kingdom, playing up his Scottish, Welsh and Irish credentials. Unfortunately these are pure fiction, invented by Mark Price, her downtrodden aide, in a moment of panic.
The only person who can see through the deception is Mark’s cousin Hannah, a member of the dig team. Will she blow the whistle or help him out? And what of St Edmund himself, watching through the prism of a very different age?
Splicing ancient and modern as he did in The Hopkins Conundrum and A Right Royal Face-Off, Simon Edge pokes fun at Westminster culture and celebrates the cult of a medieval saint in another beguiling and utterly original comedy.
I thoroughly enjoyed Anyone For Edmund, it’s a fast-paced, edgy and clever novel, which really engages the reader from the start and with its surprising supernatural feel it’s completely different to other contemporaries.
To be honest I hadn’t known too much about him before reading this. I do love learning something new, especially when I least expected it!
On the surface, it appears to be a stereotypical political comedy, with a history element, but it soon becomes clear that this is far more than that, this is a great mix of intelligent wit, history and political manipulations with some very relevant secondary plots of Covid19, life after Brexit and trying to rebuild and unite a fractured country.
The story opens with voluntary archaeologist; Hannah who is working on a dig looking for the remains of St Edmund, once found he is then reburied in the cathedral at Bury St Edmunds. Hannah’s cousin; Mark is an advisor to the culture secretary, marina who is your stereotypical pantomime villain; ruthless, manipulative, tyrannical, control freak she is trying to ease the fractures caused by Brexit and is looking for something big that will unite the country again, something that the whole country can get behind.
Which is where Edmund comes in!
Mark comes up with the idea of reinstating Edmond as a patron saint of the United Kingdom, but how to achieve it? Mark basically makes up a whole bunch of ‘facts’ about Edmund, and this is where the trouble and the fun starts as everything just spirals out of control, but once Mark interpretation of Edmund takes hold there isn’t a lot Mark can do to slow it down.
It’s a realistic plot and one that I could see happening in these strange times after all no-one wants animosity within the country. I love the little touches to the society we now live in, such as our addiction to social media and doing your research via Wikipedia and if anything with all the false truths which Mark releases about Edmund it shows how easily we can be taken in by false news, even when we think it’s from a genuine source.
My favourite aspect of this is those brief moments when we see everything through Edmund’s eyes, it gave the whole book a fresh and original feel to it and kept me turning the pages. I thought the bitterness and toxicity between Mark and Marina were compelling to read and brilliantly real, it actually reminded me of a few offices I have worked in, in the past.
I loved the whole concept of this book, with a bit of history, intrigue, wry humour and political machinations, wonderfully imaginative characters and some very on-trend topics this is a great read, one I think many people no matter what genre you read will enjoy.
About the Author
Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.
He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years. He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London, where he also taught literary criticism.
He is the author of three previous novels: The Hopkins Conundrum, which was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award, The Hurtle of Hell and A Right Royal Face-Off. He lives in Suffolk.