Book Jacket


rank 737
word count 11038
date submitted 29.09.2011
date updated 01.11.2011
genres: Fiction, Comedy, Crime
classification: universal

Trivial Pursuit

Paul House

A satirical musical and literary game.


Beef Tea (67) and Marlowe Philips (40) are private detectives who are on a case that takes them through the USA, Mexico and finally to Spain. They are following the dangerous criminals Wilma and Lance, who are, in turn, trying to kill them. Wilma and Lance meet up with various other criminals, including the evil Small Boy Called Elgar. As they endeavour to catch up with their prey, Beef Tea and Marlowe Philips, Wilma and Lance run across some strange characters, like Boll Weevil, the Texan peanut farmer, Fat Al, the Mexican drugs baron, or Tobias Jugg, the captain of a tramp steamer, and several celebrities, like Bob Dylan, Edgar Broughton and Captain Beefheart, together with a weird menagerie of animals. As they journey on they reminisce, talking about and criticising or praising such things as varied as cricket averages, Play-doh, Marcel Proust and Roger Whittaker. Various sections are written in the styles of Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, Hemingway and Thackeray, to name but a few. The mystery ends with a modern enactment of the last scenes of Hamlet.

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comedy, literature, music, satire

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Lara wrote 737 days ago

I enjoyed this dilettante piece and the way 'identity' was used as a theme. Not much of it here yet but BACKED in the hope of.

Lara wrote 737 days ago

I enjoyed this dilettante piece and the way 'identity' was used as a theme. Not much of it here yet but BACKED in the hope of.

ScottTrimas wrote 807 days ago

Great face and writing flow! Very good job, highly starred!
Scott Trimas
The Chimera Factor

Diwrite wrote 838 days ago

Brilliantly bonkers!

Pascual's Birthday

Cariad wrote 840 days ago

This was whacky and weird and very funny. I particularly liked the used armadillo in chapter one, the repeated motif of 'it doesn't look anything like...' and the ridiculous observations of detail. It made me laugh and it reminded me of various other things, as it was meant to. Reading it was similar to the first time I read Richard Brautigan. Fabulous fun. Will give you some stars for now and watchlist for a future spin on my shelf (places already booked for this changeover.

Jo Hervey wrote 882 days ago

I confess I read this in spite of myself and laughed out loud far more often than I'd like to admit. Ch 2 is, quite simply, brilliant. Some of the lines in Ch 3 I shall write down and use somewhere. (The English football team without the disappointment was one) And all by breaking every rule in the How to Write Proper book. Well done, sir. Happily backed.

Janet S. Colley wrote 897 days ago

Great characters. Clever concept.

mick hanson wrote 899 days ago

Your book as got so much energy and verve and seems to run amok, tearing down in its path well known formats and conventions of writing in general. I have never come across this style of writing before. It is both funny and highly entertaining- Brilliant - Wilfred (He Was a Most Peculiar Man)

Jed Oliver wrote 899 days ago

There is little that can be said about this fine writing. I think you have said it all. I absolutely love this humor, it has brightened an otherwise drab day. You must laugh a lot as you write. I know I do. Truly unique! By the way, the photo of Paul House in your biographical info looks exactly like the hero of my own novel, Humphrey Jameson, P.I.
In fact, the same hat you are wearing in your photo is presently resting at my left elbow, atop my piano, to act as inspiration. Perhaps we are related. I have no choice but to star you heavily, and disappoint someone else greatly by giving you a spot on my shelf. Please take a look at my book "French Roast and Lingerie,"
Best Regards, Jed Oliver (French Roast and Lingerie)

Gefordson wrote 900 days ago

This is a cracking piece of writing. Funny, clever, knowing but equally (on occasions) broad and simple. There has to be an audience out there for this kind of mash up - it felt a bit like Chandler done by the Carry On team.
More than happy to back this and have recommended it to others.
Will come back and back the book again (unless it gets picked up by some agent and whisked off to success).

Billie Storm wrote 902 days ago

I came back for this take on Raymond Chandler, and to sweep up the litter of alliteration. You have read Robert Rankin, I take it. - also redolent of Thurber's 'Wonderful O' and 'Professor Brainstorm' books.
I don't know where you are, as I didn't look where you are, and tend to dive in and make all these value judgements: fast, energetic, almost very young (Beefty - Capt Beefheart - going on 70) and very English.
After the policeman comments, 'keep your eyes peeled', was this a ref to Peeler, or the unconscious delivery of a natural comic?
I enjoyed the bikes and the early British comment with the Rayleigh and BSA, and then it switches era, as if the bikes are a way of setting the sometime eccentric and bumbling way of the English copper.
There is a plethora of word play, competent and sure-footed; the risk is, by giving characters equal parts, they become samey, whereas perhaps only one should have the killer lines. There is too much here not to waste, but the plot maybe overwhelmed by a torrent of quality observations. Depends why you read stuff, I suppose, but I find it can be a wee bit indulgent. This reader wants to get beyond the density of puns, and fears the multiple layers of references will be shredded in translation. Other than that, I would imagine, in a fair world, you have all to look forward to; a strong, intelligent writer with a veritable arsenal of material, a natural observer, with a confident pace.
Whether you can reach the top of this anomalous system, remains to be seen. Realistically, I doubt it's talent that drives this market, and yet some v v good writing and wonderful authors do get to knock on the editor's door. Best to make no sense of it. Haven't looked too much at punctuation (this always is a matter of opinion anyway) or organisation, but am happy to look more closely if you like.

best wishes

Richard P-S wrote 914 days ago

No-one surpasses your mastery of voice and invention of new plots. R

celticwriter wrote 922 days ago

Sounds very cool. Looking forward to giving it a read!


JackWracker wrote 926 days ago

Wilma - as Wilmer Cook The Maltese Falcon? If it's all like this it should be a treat. But I'm only reading if you read one of my books. I'm tired of being everyone's sap - I'm tired, so tired - Lili Von Shtupp - Blazing Saddles.

Jake Barton wrote 931 days ago

This may be the most convoluted pitch I've ever read. It may also be the best. Love the footnotes, the magnificently jumbled construction, the sheer breadth of it. Wonderfully different and flirting with unique. No, surely not, must be many books like this, just can't think of too many of them right now. No intention of looking for errors, far too busy enjoying the journey.
Yet another venture into the unknown from the splendid Mister House. On my shelf with profound admiration.

LittleDevil wrote 932 days ago

If I notice one of my fav authors have a new book on the shelves, I take a chance and buy it.
Comedy eh? Lets give it a bash.
All the best