Bill Jones’s The Life and Times of Algernon Swift is a lavishly illustrated novel of puns that pits its earnest young hero, Algernon, against the pitfalls and pratfalls of the English language.
In the book, we follow Algernon as he attempts to cope with the extreme relativism of his elderly relative, Reverend Hawker, as well as the exorbitant passion of the exquisite Mavis (a woman with X on her mind).
The book puns on subjects as diverse as Henry VIII’s wives, pre-Raphaelite painters, mathematics and fairy tales, and contains over 200 puns, some of which may be familiar to the residents of Stroud from the cards that Bill has sold around town over the last few years (both as a pedlar and in Made In Stroud). Bill is also known in Stroud for performing stand-up as his alter-ego, Miserable Malcolm, Stroud’s most miserable poet.
In the following excerpt, Algernon arrives at Hawker’s Pot, the residence of his uncle, Reverend Hawker, and once again encounters his uncle’s exasperating inability to mean one thing at a time...
The Life and Times of Algernon Swift is published by Head of Zeus on 9th February, 2017. Bill will be signing copies of the book at Stroud Bookshop from 11am on Saturday 11th February.