Tallis Steelyard: Six Men in a Boat, by Jim Webster
One step (or, more accurately, a jump) ahead of his creditors, Tallis Steelyard winds up on Baldart Twirl’s flatboat. His adventures pile up while he figures out precisely why he was run out of town.
Peopled with Jim Webster’s signature mixture of idiots, sages and oddballs this book is a joy from start to finish.
If you have enjoyed the Tallis Steelyard short stories, you’ll enjoy this full-length novel even more. The characters and storyline are more than sufficient to sustain the longer format and belly laughs abound.
Highlights for me?
An erudite mule, and the machinations of Baldart Twirl himself.
Buy it and read it.
Five shiny stars.
A Boating Adventure With A Difference
When unavoidable circumstances meet with unfortunate events, as Tallis Steelyard could no doubt tell you, the only option is to run like hell.
However for Tallis that meant winding up on a flatboat being towed behind a steamer. His adventures include a contribution to opera, absconding with religious tomes, a friendly – if at times rather dangerous – rivalry with the crew of another flatboat, being the judge of a local flower show, nomad attacks, a well-educated mule and a mysterious ancient cult.
Jim Webster is one of those authors who makes me wish for a louder voice so more might hear about and discover his works. They are simply wonderful.
There is nothing quite like a Tallis Steelyard adventure. It has pathos, humour, danger and a uniquely engaging, secret, unidentifiable ingredient all of its own which Mr Webster must keep as close to his chest as Coca-Cola.
So if you have never been introduced to Tallis Steelyard before, this is a great place to meet him. If you know him well and have yet to take his boating adventure then delay no longer.
Either way, this is a wonderful book that will surely delight you.
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