Monday, 23 April 2012

Book of the Week - Timothy Mo, Pure

Pure is Timothy Mo’s first novel since 2000, and a small number of signed copies are currently available after he paid a brief visit to the UK. His last two books were self-published, but on this occasion Pure is published by Turnaround Books.   Mo has had a great deal of critical success in the past – three of his first four books were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and he has also won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (for his first novel) and the James Tait Prize (for his 2000 novel, Renegade).

Mo was born in 1950 to a Welsh-Yorkshire mother and a Hong Kong Chinese father, and lived in Hong Kong until the age of 10 before he moved to Britain, studying at St John's College, Oxford. He worked as a journalist for both New Statesman and Boxing News before falling out with publishers in general and moving to the world of self-publishing.

Releasing a novel called Pure so shortly after another author’s Pure won the Costa Prize with all the confusion that might cause is a typically idiosyncratic act. Luckily the themes of the two books are completely different – medieval Parisian cemetery vs. contemporary Thai Ladyboy Jihadist. Mo’s Pure has had some very good reviews and also one or two stinkers, maybe not surprising given his writing style. Despite being self-published it may do well in the prize lists (assuming it is submitted). A signed copy is well worth adding to any collection and should be an interesting read.

"Timothy Mo's first novel in a decade is set within the battle for secession in the Muslim regions of southern Thailand. Pure covers epic expanses of time and is told through narrators who range from fanatical zealots to decorated Oxbridge dons. Everything that Mo's readers expect abound in this long-awaited novel: versatile style, memorable characters, insight into those tormented by dual loyalties and the ability to handle the weightiest of themes with a light touch. By examining the cultural wars of the past and present, Pure's themes are among the most important of the day."


Bill Godber, Managing Director, Turnaround Books said...

Delighted by your comments re Timothy Mo's "Pure" but I think it only fair to point out that, whilst his last two books were self-published under his own Paddleless Press imprint, this new one is defintely not but is published by Turnaround Books - an imprint of Turnaround Publisher Services.

Trapnel said...

Thank you for your feedback, and I am very pleased to correct my post! I hope that sales will be good and that you will decide to submit for the Booker Prize!


Trapnel said...


A question to you if possible! Does Turnaround books distinguish different printings of a book, or will all published copies appear the same? I sure most people won't care, but it would be very interesting to the readers of this blog who are collectors..... Not sure if you would be willing to comment on the first print run, if indeed different printings acn be distinguished...


Bill Godber said...

Happy to inform you that any further print runs of Timothy Mo's 'Pure' will include details of printing - ie second, third etc. All copies on sale at present are first printing first editions. There has been much speculation re the publishing of 'Pure' in the media and on the Booker forum - most of which is incorrect. i am attempting to join the forum to correct this.

Trapnel said...

Many thanks - I think it is a very fine book, and I hope it makes it into later printings!