A gloriously moving and entertaining, picaresque debut novel, about a young man's sentimental education in late 19th-Century Europe; inspired by a real historical figure: 'Captain' Paul Boyton - the 'Fearless Frogman'
Owen Booth is a journalist, copywriter and father of two sons. He lives in Walthamstow, London. He won the 2015 White Review Short Story Prize and was recently awarded 3rd prize in the Moth Short Story competition. His work has been published in numerous print and online magazines and anthologies.
'The narrative of an adolescent travelling by water with an older companion, undergoing trials and ordeals, encountering scoundrels and villains, with glimpses of society from high to low as they drift pass: it doesn't take long before the flavour of this picaresque novel starts to seem hauntingly familiar ... His companion, the charming cad Captain Clarke B, could equally have walked out of Mark Twain's novel, and just like Huck and Jim, Dan and 'the cap' have a series of encounters that expose the cruelty of their world ... Filled with extraordinary characters, the narrative has the same irresistible pull Dan feels in the rubber suit, as he's swept into yet another escapade' Spectator
'A rip roaring read, full of bold characters whose roguish behaviour leads them into enjoyable bother' Daily Mail
'A splendid, hilarious novel pulsating with adventure, romance, deception, princesses, anarchists and unexpected wildlife. Booth's brilliantly coloured, larger-than-life 19th century makes Jules Verne seem like old news.' Will Wiles, author of Plume
'A total escapist caper perfect for these times - think Patrick Leigh Fermor meeting Jules Verne in a complicated bisexual situation and you'll only be halfway there' Luke Turner, author of Out of the Woods
'Raucus and tender ... Swashbuckling anarchic nineteenth-century derrings-do, with heart' Eley Williams, author of The Liar's Dictionary
'a clatter of rich comedy, preposterous adventure and occasional stark brutality ... not only funny - and it is very funny - but also strangely, desperately moving' Richard Smyth, Literary Review