Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 11344
date submitted 12.06.2008
date updated 09.10.2012
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Horror, ...
classification: universal
incomplete

Snarl

Pat Black

An unstoppable monster invades mainland Britain. Lunatics, drunks and idiots wonder what to do about it.

 

The fabled Beast of Barlingborough Bay. As seen on T-shirts, mugs and children’s colouring pads. It even has its own line of “beast baggie” condoms. But there’s a snag; it’s real. It’s 350ft tall. It eats everything and everyone. And it can’t be killed.

Rufus Farnan is a reporter in a sleepy seaside village given the scoop of a lifetime. As the Beast rampages from his beat towards London, he finds himself contending with the no less rampant egos and jealousies of the media industry – with an old flame and a more successful rival not the least of his worries.

Meanwhile in Downing Street, super-slick Prime Minister Stanton Preece doesn’t have his troubles to seek either. Paperwork to sign, foreigners to rail against and… damn it, he just can’t get decent cocaine anywhere.

Also in the capital, a shadowy terrorist organisation are seeking to contaminate the Houses of Parliament with an unknown biochemical substance....

Part monster movie, part political satire, this is a thrill ride of a novel for anyone who ever dreamed of seeing major British establishments literally torn apart... by the "feral beast" they warned us about.

 
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tags

comedy, insane, monster, satire

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HarperCollins Wrote

'Snarl’ by Pat Black

The book opens in small town Scotland where a local newspaper reporter receives reports that a once thought mythical creature is alive and well and appears hell bent on destroying anything and everything in its path. As the action unfolds, the focus shifts to London where the UK’s rather louche Prime Minister Stanton Preece’s problems are about to get a whole lot more complicated than the psychotic behaviour and the womanising that his team appear to constantly have to cover up. Later on, a third plot thread is introduced, which appears to involve an Islamic group, although their role in the drama has yet to be identified or explained a third of the way through.

It’s a slapstick farce with political commentary, not the usual combination and one which might make it difficult to find a target market. It’s reminiscent of the wacky world of Jasper Fforde with its puns but with perhaps less clever plotting and satire. Malcolm Pryce is also another author that this could be compared to, but this is more slapstick and crude than his brand of comic noire.

The book’s strengths are its humour and the previously mentioned puns, which can be witty. It captures the surreal and juxtaposes it with the everyday banality of life. But it’s relatively slow moving; it seems very far in before we are introduced to the Prime Minister or see any other landscape but the coastline of Scotland. As mentioned previously, the Islamic group are still to be explained a third of the way through the novel; I worry that this could make the remainder of the book appear rushed. Aside from the humorous dialogue the rest of the speech can seem stilted with the slightly two dimensional characters surviving on little more than a dialogue of smutty and crude innuendo. Aside from the crudity of some of the humour, it has quite a childlike appeal; if the plot and dialogue were cleaned up, the barebones could be put together as a Children’s title. It has the absurdity and surrealism which often appeals to a younger male market.

Potentially this could be published in the UK, perhaps by a smaller independent publishing company, but I think it would be a hard sell to the UK retailers as I don’t think this has an obvious audience to appeal to or a genre to sit in. I think it would struggle to find a place. I don’t think it’s something that HarperCollins could publish exactly for these reasons.

Gregory Lionwhyte wrote 991 days ago

A children's story? A children's story? Our entire society has been based on dick and fart jokes since the dawn of time. Retooled into a parable for young children about a big scary monster rampaging across London Bridge?Will be singing nursery rhymes about the Beast of the Bay.

A farce at its core uses strawmen and two dimensional characters to illustrate a point about life. Jonanthan Swift did it by lampooning the English, namely Protestant landlords's treatment of the Irish tenants with a bizzare and serious essay about eating children a delicacy with "of the day" sentiments and ideas of his era.

Since when has comedy never had any commentary of any sort? Never. Whether it's religious, social, economical, or moral, comedy exists to say "take a step back and laugh at the absurdity of even the tiniest of things" Not every story needs fully realized characters to get the idea across. There's a reason we still use stock characters because they're grounded into the steorotype that unforunately holds true even in our politically correct world.

Snarl might not be the wittiest or most sophisticated comedy written, but it's damn funny and strikes a chord with the reader. We can identify with the characters because all know that dreary reporter, that asshole Prime Minister or representative because we a bit of the character in real life. It doesn't try to hard and made we laugh my ass off. That's the point of a comedy, a farce, a satire at it's core: to entertain and take a step back from all the seriouness of life.

Things are random and chaotic.

And piss on making Snarl some dark and gritty story with gallows humor. That's not the aim or the style of the novel. It's not grim or gritty or filled with brooding anti-heroes who think their drug abuse or social misanthropy is serves as a fundamental character flaw or defining trait. It doesn't make the character realistic in anyway or form. It's no different than the steorotypical common man or farmboy stock character. It's just a different flat representation.

Snarl is noting going to make pun about how some guy just got his head cut off in a visceral manner and Ratman saying "Look's like he's getting ahead" That's not funny. Plain and simple. There is stupid humor and then STUPID humor. Trying to make it into Cloverfield would kill the charm of the book. It's godzilla, not malicious, gritty sewer mutant come to eat everyone with it's larva babies.

Pat. Do not take no for an answer. Get off this website, keep plugging away at the book, rewrite what you think you need to, and start sending out query letters. Get the attention of a publisher. Even if it's a small one. And don't let anyone fool you.

You want to succeed, it's not just about the market or the target demographic companies think it is. I don't claim that Snarl will be the next fucking Monty Python or John Dies At the End, but it'll be a damn good book. It's about being ruthless and mercenary. Because the guy next to you will start crying like a baby after his special snowflake book got torn to shreds from one publisher.

You can find 100,000 people who will buy, laugh, and keep your book. That's a challenge to you my friend.

KGleeson wrote 1062 days ago

I've read the first three chapters now and will be back to read more (it shall be one of my treats). With overtones of many cliched horror films and some rumblings as ancient as Beowulf, it is a great read that has the comic acuity of DBC Pierre or Hiaasen. Your descriptions are vivid and fresh, one of my favourite's being "sad like a watercolour on your gran's mantlepiece." You also have a great ear for dialogue, something important in a comic novel such as this. Yet despite all its comic overtones there there is more than a trace of darkness here in the callous violence of the teen boys and the avarice of the man with the dog whose desire for the big money overrides any civic duty. What has Britain (and the western world) come to? And who is this Grendel-like monster that threatens to consume it?

I have no real nits to pick with this at all so far. After such a witty lead in with chapter 1, chapter 2 lulls us into a false security, setting the scene and following Rufus on what appears to him as another News of the World-type hysteria article with no basis in fact that, along with the brow beating mundane jaunts, are the food stuff of most provincial reporters. You create the scene well and I like how you set the blood-ridden violence of the boys against the instant precise and impartial? violence of the monster. Is it impartial-- it was almost like God wreaking vengence for poor Rufus.

Enjoyed it very much and wish you good luck. I'm sure it will be on more than authonomy shelves in the future.

Kristin

Gregory Lionwhyte wrote 1086 days ago

I wrote a review a while back Pat. I'm at chapter eleven right now. My god I haven't laughed this hard since reading Discworld or National Lampoon's Bored of the Rings.

Genuine brit humor and the off the wall characters you'd expect from England's political wasteland. Smokes and mirrors politicians, sexy and sarcastic bobbies, and all sorts of depressing people you'd find in the dour and nonchalant landscape of England.

I bet you're already eyeing publishers. Don't settle for just authonomy Pat. This is a genuine book that needs to be published. Ratman speeds through towb demanding it while the Beast screams for his delicious biker meat.

"I've had sex here one and a half times." Rufus

Pat's basically the Simon Pegg of british literature. Dry, matter of fact sense of humor with absurd situations and real people reacting accordingly.

Pat Black wrote 53 days ago

At least upload enough of the book so people get to see the beast. That's the hookiest hook of them all. God, do I have to think of everything?!



Ah dude, that's appreciated, but no-one's interested in the Beast I'm afraid... I've had a fair pop. It's a no. Might stick the big guy on Kindle, let him amble around in there for a bit.

Kolro wrote 59 days ago

At least upload enough of the book so people get to see the beast. That's the hookiest hook of them all. God, do I have to think of everything?!

Tod Schneider wrote 619 days ago

I thoroughly enjoy your sense of humor -- a little smarmy, very witty and injected smoothly. I can see why this made it to the desk. Your dialogue is first rate, and you launch the story at a good spot, showing us rather than telling us. Nicely done! Best of luck with this.
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

CGHarris wrote 787 days ago

Wow. I can see why this book is sitting on so many book shelves. I read through the first two chapters and I think it’s off to a great start. Your smooth rhythm and amazing imagery make Snarl an easy enjoyable read. Your dialogue is great and the humor you weave in is laugh out loud hilarious. I loved the doodle description in chapter one. I don’t think I could say anything more that hasn’t already been said. This is a great one. I hope it makes it to the publisher soon. Thanks so much for the read.

Eliza Doole wrote 989 days ago

Love the 'snappy' dialogue. Hope you can 'claw' a deal together! (I'm not as funny in real life lol!)

S.Gerritsma wrote 991 days ago

I'm must say I luv da idea of the story, something new and totally diffrent!

Gregory Lionwhyte wrote 991 days ago

A children's story? A children's story? Our entire society has been based on dick and fart jokes since the dawn of time. Retooled into a parable for young children about a big scary monster rampaging across London Bridge?Will be singing nursery rhymes about the Beast of the Bay.

A farce at its core uses strawmen and two dimensional characters to illustrate a point about life. Jonanthan Swift did it by lampooning the English, namely Protestant landlords's treatment of the Irish tenants with a bizzare and serious essay about eating children a delicacy with "of the day" sentiments and ideas of his era.

Since when has comedy never had any commentary of any sort? Never. Whether it's religious, social, economical, or moral, comedy exists to say "take a step back and laugh at the absurdity of even the tiniest of things" Not every story needs fully realized characters to get the idea across. There's a reason we still use stock characters because they're grounded into the steorotype that unforunately holds true even in our politically correct world.

Snarl might not be the wittiest or most sophisticated comedy written, but it's damn funny and strikes a chord with the reader. We can identify with the characters because all know that dreary reporter, that asshole Prime Minister or representative because we a bit of the character in real life. It doesn't try to hard and made we laugh my ass off. That's the point of a comedy, a farce, a satire at it's core: to entertain and take a step back from all the seriouness of life.

Things are random and chaotic.

And piss on making Snarl some dark and gritty story with gallows humor. That's not the aim or the style of the novel. It's not grim or gritty or filled with brooding anti-heroes who think their drug abuse or social misanthropy is serves as a fundamental character flaw or defining trait. It doesn't make the character realistic in anyway or form. It's no different than the steorotypical common man or farmboy stock character. It's just a different flat representation.

Snarl is noting going to make pun about how some guy just got his head cut off in a visceral manner and Ratman saying "Look's like he's getting ahead" That's not funny. Plain and simple. There is stupid humor and then STUPID humor. Trying to make it into Cloverfield would kill the charm of the book. It's godzilla, not malicious, gritty sewer mutant come to eat everyone with it's larva babies.

Pat. Do not take no for an answer. Get off this website, keep plugging away at the book, rewrite what you think you need to, and start sending out query letters. Get the attention of a publisher. Even if it's a small one. And don't let anyone fool you.

You want to succeed, it's not just about the market or the target demographic companies think it is. I don't claim that Snarl will be the next fucking Monty Python or John Dies At the End, but it'll be a damn good book. It's about being ruthless and mercenary. Because the guy next to you will start crying like a baby after his special snowflake book got torn to shreds from one publisher.

You can find 100,000 people who will buy, laugh, and keep your book. That's a challenge to you my friend.

richard thurston wrote 996 days ago

Enjoyed this mainly because mainly because the writing is sharp and the humour whimsical, treading a familiar but warmly appreciated path My only criticism I have is that it could be much darker if the tale were given a greater degree of seriousness whilst retaining the irony and farce.

best wishes

rt

mostSleptOn wrote 1035 days ago

Lol love it so far

Yorker wrote 1038 days ago

Great plot and narrative

Gigi Woolf wrote 1045 days ago

Pat, this is hugely enjoyable - and your premise is certainly one that would attract me in a bookshop. It's well-written, compelling, and there are some wonderful lines - oh I DID like the PE teacher at a disco.... The scene with the teenagers was incredibly well-observed.

I also really enjoyed the internal politics at The Gazette, having a husband who works for a local rag! And your combination of politics and monsters was certainly as potent, biting and entertaining as it said on the tin.

Well done, and a super-well-done for reaching the Editors Desk.

Ingrid

aurorawatcher wrote 1048 days ago

I'm following you from the Non-Spammers thread. I like your pitch and am moving Snarl to my WL. I'll get back to you.

Amalia Rose wrote 1049 days ago

I've only just started reading (on chapter 4) but it already has me hooked. The great mixture of horror and small tidbits of comedy truly making this story a great read!

Davidson wrote 1054 days ago

Hi Great pitch sound interesting.

Brandley wrote 1054 days ago

It seems a good book I have backed and comment later

Kara Richards wrote 1059 days ago

Highly entertaining! I love the character Rufus, and his intial skepticism - so realistic! Amazing, love it! :D

Kevin O'Donnell wrote 1059 days ago

Snappy (ouch!) narrative that gets going from the start. The sort where you know what is on the menu but it is going to be an enjoyable ride!
Kevin

Claire_E wrote 1061 days ago

I know I said I'd come back with something constructive, but I got nothing! Very funny. Backed. Good luck with it.

Kari2010 wrote 1061 days ago

Pat this is hilarious. Just started reading it and immediately got hooked. Sorry to have shelved it so late in the day but hey, any little push I'm sure will help some.
Will keep reading and I hope you make the ED.
Kari

Emma the Exterminator wrote 1062 days ago

Not a lot to say.

Fantastic.

KGleeson wrote 1062 days ago

I've read the first three chapters now and will be back to read more (it shall be one of my treats). With overtones of many cliched horror films and some rumblings as ancient as Beowulf, it is a great read that has the comic acuity of DBC Pierre or Hiaasen. Your descriptions are vivid and fresh, one of my favourite's being "sad like a watercolour on your gran's mantlepiece." You also have a great ear for dialogue, something important in a comic novel such as this. Yet despite all its comic overtones there there is more than a trace of darkness here in the callous violence of the teen boys and the avarice of the man with the dog whose desire for the big money overrides any civic duty. What has Britain (and the western world) come to? And who is this Grendel-like monster that threatens to consume it?

I have no real nits to pick with this at all so far. After such a witty lead in with chapter 1, chapter 2 lulls us into a false security, setting the scene and following Rufus on what appears to him as another News of the World-type hysteria article with no basis in fact that, along with the brow beating mundane jaunts, are the food stuff of most provincial reporters. You create the scene well and I like how you set the blood-ridden violence of the boys against the instant precise and impartial? violence of the monster. Is it impartial-- it was almost like God wreaking vengence for poor Rufus.

Enjoyed it very much and wish you good luck. I'm sure it will be on more than authonomy shelves in the future.

Kristin

KGleeson wrote 1063 days ago

Only had time for chapter one today-- wow. Will read more and write more tomorrow Can you have a comic horror novel? Love it! Will certainly back. Kristin

Richard P-S wrote 1063 days ago

Pat, I read this when I first joined authonomy in Sept 2008, and backed it then, so I'm backing it again. I iwsh you luck with it. It's brilliant. R

OpheliaWrites wrote 1067 days ago

Great voice! However, there were far too many phallic references for my liking. I mean, we get it already. The premise is engaging and because the writing is so expert i will read past chapter one.
Best of luck!

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 1067 days ago

Pat,
I read and was floored by your humour. "Snarl" is an absolute romp across the verdant hills of your fair land. Your monster to London is what Godzilla was to Tokyo, just as big, only funnier. Also your cast of characters, starting with Rufus, displaying quirks trumping Shawn of the Dead, add to the tickly, scary ambiance of the whole experience, as indeed, your book is no less than an experience. Thank you so much for being you.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

B.Lloyd wrote 1068 days ago

Sassy, smart, SNARLy

The PM – came across as ever so slightly Washington rather than NR 10 – indirect comment, perhaps?

Stands close to In the Thick of it and Rob Grant’s Incompetence (touches of Red Dwarf as well! Hope this doesn’t offend you !) – I could add Tom Sharpe – only this isn’t farce, it’s gothic humour (is there such a thing ?)
Good luck with the Desk !

Mr and Mrs Jones wrote 1068 days ago

Extremely well written and very funny ... good luck!

Richard and Yvette Jones.

Juliusb wrote 1068 days ago

---Snarl - 'it eats everything and everyone. And it can't be killed. As the Beast rampages from his beat towards London ...”

-- "Meanwhile in Downing Street, super-slick Prime Minister Stanton Preece doesn’t have his troubles to seek either."

-- "a shadow terrorist organisation is seeking to contaminate the Houses of Parliament with a unknown biochemical cocaine anywhere"

I haven't peeped inside, but if where asked, "What is it?" You hinted at it - I would say, "Terrorism".

Nigel Fields wrote 1068 days ago

What I've read here is brilliant. I'm hoping you make the desk this month, Pat. Six stars from me.
JBC

Illusion wrote 1070 days ago

This sounds really interesting and once I get a moment I will have a proper read of it :)

Regards Lesley-Ann

(Ezeldren Spirit of Ezereth)

EriNobody wrote 1076 days ago

Laughed more than once. A great read, I enjoyed it very much - thank you :D

daveocelot wrote 1077 days ago

I loved this, intended to take a little peek at it last night and now I'm up to Chapter 10 and off to read more in a minute. What you've basically done is taken a look at the moral wreckage of Broken Britain and then tossed your head back and laughed. And then dropped a big old monster right into the middle of it.

Backed and highly starred, if only for the phrase "fanny gallop" which i'm determined to use in the pub tonight in some tenuous context. Cheers!

silvachilla wrote 1077 days ago

Ha! Great read Pat! Love the dry humour and the writing is tight. Definitely going to get a stellar review at the end of the month :)

NGK wrote 1081 days ago

Interesting. Most books aren't, so good on you.

CMTStibbe wrote 1083 days ago

Pat, I had to come back for more. Chapter 20 had me on the floor. I don't think I can take any more. My sides are hurting. I have given it all the stars I can and wish you all the very best. Its brilliant. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

NorthernSi wrote 1085 days ago

So far, so brill! As a former weekly newspaper reporter, the first few pages just resonate so deeply - though I never encountered anything quite like that beast, more's the pity.
Anyway, superb stuff, you deserve this to be a success. Shall return to read more ASAP.
Si.

Gregory Lionwhyte wrote 1086 days ago

I wrote a review a while back Pat. I'm at chapter eleven right now. My god I haven't laughed this hard since reading Discworld or National Lampoon's Bored of the Rings.

Genuine brit humor and the off the wall characters you'd expect from England's political wasteland. Smokes and mirrors politicians, sexy and sarcastic bobbies, and all sorts of depressing people you'd find in the dour and nonchalant landscape of England.

I bet you're already eyeing publishers. Don't settle for just authonomy Pat. This is a genuine book that needs to be published. Ratman speeds through towb demanding it while the Beast screams for his delicious biker meat.

"I've had sex here one and a half times." Rufus

Pat's basically the Simon Pegg of british literature. Dry, matter of fact sense of humor with absurd situations and real people reacting accordingly.

Juliusb wrote 1086 days ago

Such a beast as Snarl, I can liken it with global warming. "It eats everything and everyone. And it can’t be killed." - Global warming is what is indiscriminately eat everything.

Robin Pearson wrote 1086 days ago

Thought this was razor sharp and darned amusing the first time I ventured on to jolly Authonomy; more than happy to back it again now as it makes the rush for the desk!

Great stuff, backed and starred.

Robin

Caroline Hartman wrote 1087 days ago

Pat, Snarl is REALLY good. The imagery terrific. I saw the whirl of water and the bus shelter go poof. I'm not a big fantasy, sci-fi reader--might explain how I missed this, but you hooked me. I'm going to watch list and come back. I did want to point out that in chapter two I found confusing weather. First, Rufus said he hadn't seen the sun since October, then it was sunny, then misty. Consider taking a look. Regardless of the weather, Pat, you have a winner here.
Caroline

Linda Lou wrote 1087 days ago

SNARL-
hullo Pat. i have gotten as far as ch. 6 and I will say that a reader is tempted to continue reading from one chapter to the next. good hooks so far. will continue to read and stop to star. LLL

Kolro wrote 1089 days ago

Finally! I log on to Authonomy and Snarl looks back at me from the top five. It's about damn time.

Wes63 wrote 1089 days ago

What a romp and a voice that works well with your characters. I'm looking forward to the finish... Wesley R. Irvin: The Chaos Chain Book II - Deadside Engineers

Elisa Gianoncelli wrote 1090 days ago

i love this book and backed it for as long as i could -have really enjoyed the first three chapters and will carry on reading it -love the concept just so different and so well written -elisa gianoncelli

Compassionate I wrote 1093 days ago

I started out determined to read the first chapter, but I soon found myself on the third. Will shelve soon as I free up some space. Meanwhile, 6 stars!

Compassionate I wrote 1093 days ago

I started out determined to read the first chapter, but I got carried away and soon found myself on the third chapter. I most certainly will continue reading and of course, this is a must for my shelve. Will have to make some place for it shortly. Six star rating for now.

Compassionate I wrote 1093 days ago

I started out determined to read the first chapter, but I got carried away and soon found myself on the third chapter. I most certainly will continue reading and of course, this is a must for my shelve. Will have to make some place for it shortly. Six star rating for now.

Neville wrote 1093 days ago

Hi Pat, brilliant writing, thought so a long time back when I shelved it.
You have made many alterations since then...It's better for it.
There's good advice on this site and you have taken it on board and produced an excellent book.
I can see why next month, you will be on the E/D...you deserve it.
I do hope that it leads to a publishing contract.
I have given a highest rating.

Kind regards,

Neville. THE SECRETS OF THE FOREST - THE TIME ZONE.

Jim Darcy wrote 1093 days ago

Phew, safe!

Jim Darcy wrote 1093 days ago

The beastly number for the beast of a book !