Local Author Knocks Dan Brown Off Top Spot

As the first crusade arrives at Putney Exchange

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Putney author Simon Acland’s new novel The Waste Land was Waterstone’s bestseller in Putney Exchange on Saturday 24th July comfortably outselling even Dan Brown’s latest blockbuster.

The Waste Land chronicles the adventures of Hugh de Verdon, monk turned knight, during the extraordinary historical events of the First Crusade. He journeys from the great Benedictine monastery of Cluny to Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem. He encounters the Assassins, endures a personal epiphany, and discovers the ‘truth’ behind the Holy Grail.

Hugh’s tale is retold by a group of desperate Oxford professors, based on his autobiographical manuscript, discovered in their college library. Their humorous – and murderous – story also provides a commentary on the eleventh century events and shows that they are perhaps not all they seem.

Being accosted by a Crusader knight did not appear to worry the intrepid shoppers in Putney Exchange, although one or two were concerned that the author might have been a disappointed England football fan who had lost his way back from South Africa.

“My novel is a gripping adventure story, but it also has a sense of humour. I wanted to reflect that in my costume for the book-signing,” Simon told PutneySW15.com. “Some modern novels take themselves too seriously. Mine is sub-titled ‘An Entertainment’ for good reason. I was delighted by the reception I received and I hope to repeat the exercise in other local bookshops.”


July 28, 2010