Book Jacket


rank 382
word count 24828
date submitted 09.10.2008
date updated 13.07.2010
genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Comedy...
classification: moderate

Tybalt & Theo

Keef Williamson

Theo is a merchant banker in recession-hit 2008. Tybalt is a condemned criminal in 1608. In a freak accident, they exchange places.


Theo has just lost 97 million pounds that wasn't his. It belonged to his bank. The global finance industry is in meltdown. Unemployment looks imminent.

A chance accident sends him hurtling towards certain death at Newgate Underground station, but instead of the afterlife he finds himself in 1608.

At the same time, Tybalt finds himself propelled forward to 2008 into a world quite beyond his understanding. He discovers the dubious delights of fast food, appears on stage at the Globe and completely fails to find his good friend Will Shakspere.

Back in 1608, Theo finds himself almost hanged for stealing a loaf of bread, lined up to assassinate King James, and building himself a new life.

Can Tybalt and Theo find the way back to their own times? And, more to the point, will they want to?

Tybalt & Theo is complete at 80,000 words.

rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login



black comedy, comedy, escapist, funny, genre, humour, irony, no dwarves, no elves, no vampires, not even a troll, time travel

on 87 watchlists



To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
J.Adams wrote 1476 days ago

It's books like this that make it impossible for me to get any work done around the house, or to move my watch list along! This gets funnier with each chapter.

Hilarious bits like:
(Theo has just been transported from 2008 to 1608 and is in prison, mistaken for Tybalt who has stolen a loaf of bread)
""My name is Theobald Ratchett, and I am an investment banker."
"Tybalt Ratsshift we know you art. In-vest-meant wan-ker? What is that?"
"It's what I do."
"No, what you do is steal from the poor!"
Theo could not reasonably argue with that.

(Regarding Theo, who has just been given 1608 clothing_
"The new clothes felt like they were made of woven straw, and he was pretty sure he was not the only thing inhabiting them. It gave a whole new meaning to the word 'discomfort.' "

This is very clever. It keeps getting funnier and funnier -- I love it, I'm delighted to back it, and I wish you much success. You've done an excellent job with this! The commentary on the state of the economy, the banking industry, and the loss of manufacturing jobs "Some Prime Minster, I forget her name"!! ... This is a gem! A real pleasure to read! I can't wait for more to be posted!!! Hopefully ALL of it!! 10 chapters is just a tease!!
Wishing you much success!
Judy Adams
The Existence Game

Alexander De Witte wrote 1562 days ago

Keef, I have rightly praised a range of books on here very highly and for a variety of reasons. Now I'm going to laud this one:
Brilliant premise. Very ambitious to attempt. never mind pull off - you've done that with accomplishment.
Normally I hate dialected speech but yours is spot on, brilliant. The work already has polish and I noticed no editorial nitpicks.

Your characters are super, the interactions between them flow so naturally that nothing distracts from the gripping story that is unfolding. You have crossed time periods very effectively. The dialogue is crisp and clean. You make each character leap from the page - great names for them too.

There are several works on here that have made me desirous of reading them through but not one other would top a list of imminent priorities for me - just too busy. Funnily enough, I don't read much fiction (I'm very fussy and like doing other things). But I'm away in a few days for a break - believe it or not, I would take this as a paperback and read it while away - and that just doesn't happen because there is always something I'd prefer to do than read.

A marvellous book - I'm sorry but I can't conceive of this not being published. I could be wrong, but if I were it would be hard to imagine anything at all ever being published. Thanks for posting this fine book. And good luck with its promotion. Outstanding.

Alexander *The Wisdom Tree and the Dormouse*

JonathanW wrote 1638 days ago

I love this! I love the world-weary theo and the hapless Tybalt. This is funny and interesting and I look forward to buying a copy when it is published. There is no problem I can see with the writing - it's all good and I wish you the best of luck with this fantastic project. Shelved, of course.
Jonathan Watts
Dread Fist

Betty K wrote 1635 days ago

Great concept. I love time travel books and, in view of the economy, this is very timely. And funny, I might add. Your opening was clever and very English (I'm first generation Canadian born of British parents, aye.)

I especially enjoyed it because my historical novel about French Huguenots who escape to London involves a goldsmith/banker by the name of Abraham Thibault. Quite a coincidence.

Really enjoyed the scene where Tybalt finds himself going to be "eaten" by the subway train.

I admire how you are able to stay in the dialect of the time. I haven't done that and I know it's very difficult. You do an excellent job and it certainly keeps us in the moment. I like this. Don't know why I haven't seen it before. Shelved.

Betty K "The Huguenot's Destiny"

ginafire wrote 1633 days ago

This is fantastic! What an incredibly clever idea. I can't say enough about how impressed I am; from the details about London past and present and how they intersect, to the points of view of someone observing the past or future from a sort of involuntary time travel perspective - everything! Even the little asterisk remarks are a crack up. This is what I long to find in a good read and I look forward to finishing it one day.
Georgina - The Time Baroness

Cathy Hardy wrote 463 days ago

This is a masterpiece, very funny and well crafted. Top stars!!!

Andrea Taylor wrote 463 days ago

Clever, hilarious, brilliant! Why is this not published?????

sensual elle wrote 795 days ago

Keef, after 3 years you're back on my shelf again! Best of luck for this well-deserved book. Backed!

sensual elle wrote 796 days ago

My old friend, how are you? After an absence approaching two years, I find the pleasant surprise of you here!

I shelved and rated your book exactly 1006 days ago. Do you know you're still on my watch list?

Let's do lunch or at least each other's books again. As if by magic, I have an opening a day from now.

hugs, elle

elmo2 wrote 809 days ago

i liked this, it is good fun, good juxtaposition, i will star it well, read the first four chapters, my usual, the author gives enough of a feel for both characters, especially theo, so this works, of course one sees a little karma on the face of it, heartless trader finds himself in the place of the working poor, even more dramatically the doomed working poor, there is plenty of material here for good satire and comedy and i have no doubt the author takes advantage of it all, written well, uses language well

AlexB1 wrote 932 days ago

This looks intriguing, will add to WL

KirkH wrote 950 days ago

Just happen to run into this, so I decided to read a little bit of it. Nicely done. It reminds me of Mark Twains "prince and the Pauper" and the movie "Freaky Friday" (any of the three movies). I haven't gotton to the part where the time switch is made, but it looks like it's going to be an interesting story.
I like to back it. Hope you can look at my Oktoberfest crime caper story.
"How to Steal a Lion"

PCreturned wrote 1120 days ago

Hi Keef,

I just spotted your book and popped over for a read. How'd I miss it if it's been round for so long? I guess I must have been slipping in my authonomy addiction. :(

Anyway, I'm here now and wish to leave a comment. I always try to be honest and helpful in my feedback, so please don't be offended by any suggestions. They'll only be the thoughts of 1 person, after all. + you can always ignore me if you think I'm an idiot. :)

1 I think there's the occasional minor proportion problem. eg "He pressed the button on the remote control, increasing the volume to its maximum level" is a needlessly lengthy and detailed explanation for such an everyday action. In this case, I'd suggest soemthing like "He grabbed the remote and turned the volume up to full."

2 I think you rarely need speaker attributions + beats at the same time. eg in " 'Bollocks,' he said, removing the tie..." there's no need at all for the speech tag since we can infer form the beat who's speaking the words. "'Bollocks.' He removed the tie..." works better, I think. In 99% of such instances, I'd use beats or speaker attributions, not both.

3 Dialogue again. I'd suggest having speaker attributions earlier when you've got a lenthy-ish piece of dialogue so we know who's saying the words without having to wait for the end of the dialogue. eg "No pushing, ladies..." leaves us wondering who's saying the words for longer than necessary since it would be easy to rejig as ""No pushing, ladies," said the baker..." / Ditto with "Stealing bread, hey?..."

OK I'll stop nitpicking already as there's really not much I see that needs work here. I enjoyed the story quite a bit. I think it's cleverly constructed, funny and relevant. In fact, I think I'll stick it on my shelf as soon as I manage to get a space there.

Good stuff. :)


Raymond Crane wrote 1131 days ago

I often read all of a particular book on this sight and I AM HOPING THAT YOU CAN UPLOAD ALL OF YOUR NOVEL SO i CAN READ all of it -- it is a very interesting concept and also very humorous -- I will W/L it and give it top star rating so I hope that you can find some time to look at my books -- thanks and goodluck !!!

lizjrnm wrote 1132 days ago

I know I backed this under the old Authonomy regime but I loved it so Im backing it again! So happy to have stumbled upon this again. Simply wonderful.

The Cheech Room

Ceeds wrote 1176 days ago

Dear Keef - brilliant start (have only read chpt 1 so far)! Love the dialogue esp. Theo. Terrific premise. Can't wait to see what happens. Happily sitting on my bookshelf in a min. All the best, Ceeds

ajmigdal wrote 1183 days ago

Humerous and getting to the heart of the general fury that people feel about this whole damn situation! Hang them all!

Involving writing that stays light to get a message across with the story rather than ranting. A tip I should take away with me toward my own writing!

And I disagree with previous comments about separating the different times in to different chapters. It's absolutely fine the way it is.

Looking forward to settling in to the rest. But have already marked it highly. Impossible for this level of polish to wear thin as the book progresses, surely?


Gideon McLane wrote 1184 days ago

Thybalt And Theo - Keef Williamson. I re-read the first 3 chapters, scanned the 4th and several reviews. The premise allows you great liberty to satirize several social/economic and political cows. Some thoughts: I was distracted by the "old english" versus contemporary english; sugggest you keep each time period to a given chapter (after the first 2); the first two chapters still need some more editing - you seem to get to the point faster in later chapters; sentence fragments are also a problem and you have several run on sentences that could be cleaned up (ex: "Henry was understandable nervous; the boss...."). The concept is worth of a quick trip to my shelf.

Gideon McLane
"Thrill Writer's Remorse"

Elizabeth.NYC wrote 1207 days ago

I read Tybalt and Theo well over a year ago - I thought it was pure genius then, and now I'm more convinced than ever. SO funny and imaginative, but what attracts me most is a narrative voice unlike any I've read. Others have rightly placed this as one of the best books on Authonomy, and I agree.
(Out of Sync)

paul house wrote 1223 days ago

Backing again. One of the funniest books I have read on authonomy.

Pat Black wrote 1241 days ago

Back up you go Keefie, all the best


Jake Rowan wrote 1267 days ago

This has a fun premise and after two chapters I can see what Theo's role will turn out to be in 1608 - assassinating the King! I think you do a good job of differentiating the writing between the two time periods, but I think all of it needs a good hard cutting. I find the writing takes a while to get places and offers a little too much explanation (I particularly noticed this in the opening chapter, where a lot of the financial exposition switched me off). The voice is light-hearted and there are some funny lines, but this is being lost in the overwriting. After two chapters, though I do want to see how it turns out, I was sufficiently compelled to continue. In summary, I would suggest a little more tension and a little less explanation. I will read again if you make any rewrites, so just give me a shout. Jake

stoatsnest wrote 1280 days ago

This is lovely surreal stuff and I'm enjoying it. Regrettably more mundane tasks await. I'll read more at the next interval.

David Powell wrote 1284 days ago

You have a powerful imagination. I have just backed your book. A most original look at the financial crisis. D J Powell

Wilma1 wrote 1286 days ago

You have a brilliant premise here; it’s so totally unscolldownable – if there were such a word. You have a great turn on the back/forward in time formula. This gets funnier as you get further in the book. It’s a clean one off and stands out like a sore thumb on this site. Very well penned and I love the cover it says it all
Sue Mackender
Knowing Liam Riley – Please spend a moment to take a look

The Collector wrote 1290 days ago

Like the story and the credible jumps from one time to another. I think that this looks to be a good read. i do however think that it would benefit from further editing. examples are :

why explain POETS day or in fact why even include it as it doesn;t add anything to the tale.
why sheinstein's in 17th century england it sounds a bit like charley farley and all of those horrible names that are used in training rooms in various corporations.
why use sire as a form of address for 17th c england. I am sure that that was not a common address at that time - of course i could be mistaken.
personally i would have not used the archaic, thy or any other words that might mave been used at the time. You have already said that it is c17th so we know that they will be speaking appropriate to the time - in that context why differentiate with language.

those are some examples but please recognise that I did actually like the tale as far as I read and that it not just because i am out of the Financial Services stable

good luck with it

The Collector of Tales.

Gefordson wrote 1310 days ago

Hi, I’d be more than happy to back your book if you’ll take the time to check out my work.

Nothing You can do.

klouholmes wrote 1316 days ago

Hi Keef, I finished all the chapters now. The tension between Theo's time in the tunnel and Tybalt's seeing the pub in Stratford and Karen's solicitousness towards him is hilarious. Love the dialogue and the enjoyment of the reading. Shelved again - Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

homewriter wrote 1324 days ago

This is a superb book, Keef. I loved it. Love the way you split between the periods in history. You've got a winner here, with your great style and historical content. Gordon- The Harpist of Madrid (also an historical!)

Pen Power wrote 1331 days ago

This is a superb read. I have enjoyed reading three chapters. It is just the type of story I like. Hope you don't mind if I say it is easy reading. The premise is perfect, The characters cleverly and accurately portrayed for their positions in life. Using the financial situation is a great idea, but is there a risk of it dating the book, or making it difficult to understand in a few years from now? I am answering my own question here, but perhaps all financial crashes have the same characteristics and any intelligent reader will get past this.
Clever and funny scenes that would almost certainly happen if one was transported into another time. You use this all to great effect
Happy to back your excellent work
best regards

Gauis wrote 1338 days ago

Great pitch, and well put together, relevant and funny

Hypo99 wrote 1345 days ago

This is quite simply Brilliant. I love the way it is written and crafted. I know this will go all the way.


Brendan Doherty
The Russian Hat

Rome wrote 1362 days ago

A rather extraordinary read! - I like the manner in which you created past and future settings and truly, Tybalt seems like a funny kind of guy. Perhaps, his simple-mindedness just has him stitched in too many clumsy spots making him a comical piece of work for the modern era - he's comical but likable really.

I think this is a promising novel; the kind that is imbued with a little bit of everything all tossed in one good book -- enough to please a wide crowd who do not mind twirling through the rather tumultuous time of the 1600s and then relating to the economic meltdown we are all so sore about these days!

I know I am game for that!

Directives for Murder
Beyond the Shadows

SammySutton wrote 1373 days ago

First, I have to say my husband is a Williamson.
Regardless, I like the punch your writing invokes.
Very interesting plot for the times, should give it a market. It is what the public is interested in reading.
Hope you make it to the shelves.
Good Luck!
Sammy Sutton
King Solomon's '13'

Owen Quinn wrote 1373 days ago

trading places with a scifi twist and a wonderful change on the grass is always greener theme. Lots of visuals, separating the two worlds and deftly acheived switch that shows the appeal of our world to someone that has never experienced it before.

Mooderino wrote 1373 days ago

Clever idea. Writing is good, polished, easy to read.

I thought it all flowed pretty well until you got to Mr Pradeep. His speech patterns seemed to alternate between pre-war barrow boy and Brixton rudeboy. Not sure you've got that right.

Sheinstein felt a little caricatured. Depends what kind of tone you're going for, but at the moment he came across a bit pantomime-Scrooge.

Theo's financial problem comes out of the blue a bit. Perhaps some indication that things aren't going smoothly for him (at breakfast) would lead up to him taking a huge risk.

It's very fast paced and i think you can afford to slow it down a little bit, some variation in pace.

Overall it's very engaging. Backed.

name falied moderation wrote 1374 days ago

Dear Keef
Well I backed this book and commented some time ago, but I cannot find it. I really thought it worth the time to re do it , so I took the time. CONGRATS on such talent and also the skill it took to craft.
I do hope you will review my book, comment and most of all BACK it. but either way the BEST of luck with yours
The Letter

odeb wrote 1374 days ago

Well done. to celebrate it's 'Pink robe with bunnies on the pockets' for everyone.



SusieGulick wrote 1374 days ago

Dear Keef, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed, "Tell Me True Love Stories." :) Thanks so very much. :) Since I have already backed your book, I will put your book on my watchlist. Could you please take a moment to back my completed edited memoir version, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not?" I'd be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :)
authonomy quote: "Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."
Here is the response I received from authonomy concerning backing:
When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved."

Craig Ellis wrote 1375 days ago

Fabulous story, with well developed characters and excellent dialogue. The transition between accents is flawless, and jumping between periods only adds to the suspense of what you know is coming. A great hook at the end of the first chapter kept me reading. Backed with pleasure.

Craig Ellis
The Sun and the Saber

Rusty Bernard wrote 1383 days ago

Hi Keef,

I have backed your book because I was hooked by the pitch, loved the introduction and read on. There you go, more people should just have fun and lighten up. Good luck with this.

How much more I read depends on time and commitment.

Enjoy everything and good luck.

Rusty Bernard
Psychiatric Evaluation

Mal Muirhead wrote 1386 days ago

Tbis is a great read. In places it is truely funny, and that is a skill which, in my humble opinion, is by far the most difficult to master. (Anyone can do serious! He wrote, tongue in cheek!)
But not only that, it offers a fresh take on the current state of the world of finance and money. Only fiction can do this!
All the best

Lynne Ellison wrote 1387 days ago

A most entertaining and hilarious read! I will back this as soon I find room.

karien wrote 1408 days ago

What an interesting pitch. Great opportunities for humour and insights, and the first chapter reads like a train.
I'm backing this with pleasure.
Karien - A Bird in a Pram

Vanessa Darnleigh wrote 1410 days ago

Tybalt crouched down behind two fat wenches and managed to squueze his hand between two ample hips...'
I never mentioned anything about cliche...I just wished to point out an alternative to the existing structure...and yes, you're right, trains in HK don't rumble...sorry if I offended your artistic sensibilities!

Vanessa Darnleigh wrote 1411 days ago

...between their ample hips... trains don't really rumble, do they?
Sorry for nit-picking but I mean well. This is very good and direct with lots of humour...I plan to dip into this again
Best wishes

delhui wrote 1418 days ago

Dear Keef --

You set a breakneck pace in your opening chapter, hurtling Theo & Tybalt toward one another with baggage trailing each of them, setting up the conflicts to come. Your snappy dialogue is a pleasure to read, readily balanced against the narrative and always propelling the story forward. You make your readers feel like they're in good hands from the tautness of the narrative to the research that clearly informs your descriptions of Tybalt's world.

One question: why call it Tybalt & Theo? Why not Theo & Tybalt, since Theo is introduced first?

One small nitpick: use of "he [or she] said" when not needed. Ex. Chapter 1, para 6: "'Bullocks,' he said, removing his tie..." A more active approach might be "'Bollocks.' He yanked off his tie..."

These are, of course, small (and subjective) concerns that in no way obscure the larger entertainment value of Tybalt & Theo, so we back you with pleasure. -- Delhui, The Long Black Veil

richard thurston wrote 1418 days ago

Hi Keef- I really enjoyed your first chapter ,it was very easy to digest and there was little that distracted the mind from being right there in the scene always a sign of great writing. Backed with pleasure.

Best Wishes


lbrammer1992 wrote 1419 days ago

You have created a brilliant concept and backed it up with a well written story that is of interest to the reader. Could you have a look at my novel The Sacred Pool.


mclevin wrote 1420 days ago

I backed your book based solely on the fact that it contains no dwarves, elves, vampires, nor trolls. That's refreshing on this site.

Oh yeah, the writing is spectacular, too. I really like your sparse use of adjectives in favor of strong, dynamic verbs that drive the narration. Good dialogue, too -- especially involving Tybalt. Tisn't easy pulling off discourse from another period.

Looking forward to diving in deeper.



speaksthetruth wrote 1420 days ago

no dwarves, elves or vampires. this already has a lot going for it

jdub wrote 1424 days ago

Keef this is so funny, having very little respect for banks and politics the reality of the story combined with the extremes makes this a quality story,backed John Warren Lasting Images, please review, jdub

Lara wrote 1435 days ago

The initial jerks to different times are a little difficult to cotton onto but when you get to Newgate we're there with Theo knowing disaster is coming.

good start
Rosalind - Good For Him

crazy mama wrote 1435 days ago

Very original premise and idea. First chapter really sets up the story. get a good feel for Theoi's personality. have to come back to it when there's more time.

Papilio wrote 1438 days ago

This is a great book. I love books about time travel and teh human situation. A pleasure to back.

Aqua Omega