Go straight to press about Foxy-T (Faber and Faber)

“There are always counter-narratives. Some of them relate to rediscovery, however below the radar; the new debates and conversations around the recently republished experimental writer Ann Quin are one example. And of the nominated writers I discovered through thinking about this article – Anakana Schofield, Tony White, June Caldwell, Irenoson Okojie – none would slot happily, if at all, into the box marked ‘social realism’.” Alex Clark, “The Best British and Irish novelists today: Alex Clark introduces the New Elizabethans”, TLS, 4 April 2018

The Fountain in the Forest (novel, Faber and Faber)

“a gripping police procedural […] impeccably Oulipian in conception and execution […] The Fountain in the Forest sets the author and his readers a bracingly high bar.” David Collard, TLS

“It is absolutely terrific … it can be enjoyed at the level of a thriller, and yet it does all these other fascinating things, and best of all it’s the first in a trilogy … It’s such a good book.” Andy Miller, Backlisted Podcast

“an engaging plot allows plenty of room for radical yet accessible interventions. The Fountain in the Forest can be read on several levels: as a crime novel, a Bildungsroman, a tale of protest and institutional violence, as well as a text written with the use of a mandated vocabulary. […] That all these stylistic fireworks can illuminate several rich plot lines, each with multiple twists, which an attentive reader will enjoy disentangling, is the best vindication of experimental prose. […] Let’s hope for more surprises in the next instalment.” Anna Aslanyan, Financial Times

“rich, riveting … White is always convivial company … His books [are] characterised by stylistic innovation, a feeling for place, a love of rogues and rebels. The Fountain in the Forest is no different. It’s also the opening salvo in a trilogy. I’m already awaiting the next.” Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian, ‘Book of the Day’

“Tony White’s latest novel begins for all the world like a police procedural, following the delightfully named sleuth Rex King as he investigates the grisly murder of man in a Covent Garden theatre. […] The Fountain in the Forest is a slow-burner. White lulls the reader into absorbed bewilderment before weaving the strands together with all the deftness of a seasoned crime writer. […] pays timely homage, in a far subtler way than certain self-styled Brexit novels, to the strength of British ties with the continent. […] The Fountain in the Forest is told with an obituarist’s unsentimental deference. Enjoy it as a noir entertainment or as an evocative picture postcard from the past.” Houman Barekat, Spectator

“a complex and twisting plot with a genuinely shocking and satisfying dénouement … an extraordinary novel where our sympathies are for a cop who as cop represents the very forces of repression the gut of the novel abhors. … An astonishing achievement.” Richard Marshall, 3am Magazine

“The Fountain in the Forest can be read with all the pleasure you might expect from a knotty police procedural, a knowledgeably detailed, intriguing and compelling police procedural at that. The story drives ever forward, even when it takes you backwards in time to take a look at the roots of the crime in question. Even when it flip-flops between two distinct time-streams and character identities within the space of a single sentence, the sense throughout is of a steady and satisfying accretion of significant information, i.e clues – exactly what you’d hope for from any good thriller. […] You could read the novel with no knowledge of OULIPO and enjoy it just as well. […] Anyone who enjoyed Keith Ridgway’s Hawthorn & Child or Nicholas Royle’s First Novel will love this book. Anyone who is into Ian Rankin or Denise Mina will love it, too. […] Above all, there is the joy inherent in a book well made: language expertly deployed, place wonderfully evoked, ideas, characters, memories, theories, political subtext brought vibrantly to life, a good story well told. The Fountain in the Forest would be a worthy contender for the CWA Gold Dagger. It is equally the kind of book that might win the Goldsmiths Prize. Read, and enjoy.” Nina Allan

“a detective thriller of unique caliber […] It is often acknowledged that restrictions feed creativity, and it is very much true here, considering what an original piece of writing The Fountain in the Forest turns out to be. It is a rather remarkable achievement when you keep in mind the constraints, or, perhaps, that is exactly why it excels. […] intellectually stimulating, yet never elitist.” Tommi Laine, Helsinki Book Review

“The Fountain in the Forest smartly maps an experimental, Oulipo-inspired structure onto a well-executed police procedural, with both elements of White’s story-telling enhancing the other … White cleverly manages the suspense of the investigation, while showing his characters from multiple viewpoints, presenting their double lives without credulity-stretching plot twists. Any Cop?: Yes – this is innovative storytelling, at once serious and playful, and White addresses serious social issues in his work with a compelling, very readable, style.” Thom Cuell, Bookmunch

“The Fountain in the Forest is a mystery built on mysteries […] it has heart and tenderness and leads us to the most unexpected places and at the centre of all this puzzling is a thriller with deep hooks.” Nick Garrard, STORGY

“a quite extraordinary combination of a controlled Oulipian literary construct, page-turning detective thriller, and politically-charged social history.” Paul Fulcher, The Mookse and the Gripes

“Wait.. what!?! … I think you’re going to want to read this book and you deserve to enjoy the mix of bewilderment and shock I just experienced because in a world where everything is telegraphed having the apple cart upended, smashed to pieces and then sold as firewood is something to cherish … plays with the genre with a twist so brazen that, on its own, is a commentary on the police procedural. What’s remarkable is that these experimental flourishes don’t undermine what is a gripping, stunning read. …The Fountain In The Forest has set a high bar for the rest of the novels I read this year.” The Hysterical Hamster

“there’s no denying that The Fountain in the Forest thumbs its nose at the complacency of the state-of-the-nation novel and tries to achieve similar aims via a thrilling meld of literary techniques that are alien to the genre. Its radical break with social realism is indeed a match for its radical bid to be both a novel about the present and “news that stays news”. It’s a state-of-the-nation novel that doesn’t just address the state of the nation, and even goes further than questioning how the nation got itself into its current state. It also prompts its readers, periodically, to consider what other states the nation might have gotten into if only its people had entertained the possibility of treading a different path, had given more credence to visions of an alternative political culture not spearheaded by authoritative powers.” MacKenzie Warren, Splice

“A truly intriguing venture into the crime genre by the talented White […] But there is more to the novel than the actual plot, as White unveils a series of literary challenges which throw the whole story a softball curve, while never slowing the plot down. Engaging and at the same time a challenge, this is both a good read and a cheeky divertimento, and all rather unique.” Maxim Jakubowski, Crime Time

“The Fountain in the Forest is fascinating, beautifully written and really original.” Literary Review

“The Fountain in the Forest is, first and foremost, an excellent detective novel. Rex not only manages to walk the mean streets but tread the fine line between three dimensional character and classic cop. The use of mandated vocabulary, presented in bold, is fascinating because it is possible to see the way it influences the story from single sentence to plot-point. Perhaps the novel’s most impressive achievement, however, is to revisit the politics of the 1980s, contending that the events of that decade not only reverberate in Rex’s life but echo through modern Britain. Two further volumes are to be welcomed.” 1streadings blog

“Dit keer is het Will Self. De roman is (weer eens) gedoemd. Dit zei hij in The Guardian vorige week: ‘I think the novel is absolutely doomed to become a marginal cultural form, along with easel painting and the classical symphony. And that’s already happened. I’ve been publishing since 1990, so I’ve seen it happen in my writing lifetime. It’s impossible to think of a novel that’s been a water-cooler moment in England, or in Britain, since Trainspotting, probably.’ En even verderop: ‘I think the novel is in free fall’. Er is altijd wel een schrijver te vinden die het einde van de roman verkondigt. Alles is al gedaan, de maatschappelijke relevantie is weg, ontlezing – er is een breed spectrum aan argumenten en alarmbellen. Terwijl zelfs Self zelf zo een aantal namen noemt van schrijvers die de romanvorm omarmen en het genre richting onontgonnen terrein duwen. Eimear McBride, Tom McCarthy, Mike McCormack. … Zo had hij ook Tony White kunnen noemen, wiens nieuwe roman is opgebouwd uit ingrediënten die niet eerder in deze samenstelling bijeen waren. The Fountain in The Forest is thriller, vormexperiment en sociale geschiedenis ineen.” Theo Hakkert, Vers Twee (NL)

Buy The Fountain in the Forest now.


Shackleton’s Man Goes South (novel, Science Museum)

Shackleton’s Man Goes South, cover jpeg

The novel: not heading south, any time soon. Tony White’s collaborations show that in the changing world of publishing, opportunities are still there for the innovative author […] Now the Science Museum has published a new book, and its first novel: Shackleton’s Man Goes South. At heart a book about climate change, it’s also, says White, “a kind of alternative history of publishing in extremis, examples of the apparent human necessity of finding new ways to tell and share stories, and how the future of writing, publishing and reading might need to be as much in the low-tech past as the hi-tech present”. James Bridle, The Observer

… certainly the most distinctive and formally creative novel I’ve read this year. Niall Harrison, Strange Horizons

… a triumph of controlled anger. Part fiction, part historical narrative, part science journalism, Shackleton’s Man Goes South depicts an adventure as magnificent and dreadful as Scott’s or Shackleton’s. […] this is a book about going forwards by going back. Characters in the future echo those from the past; as clues from fossils and ice cores tell us about a warmer past, and hint at the future. In that future, the climate refugee Emily flees south to supposed safety in the company of the complex and conflicted human trafficker Browning. Meanwhile, White skilfully conducts a parallel journey through conversations and interviews with contemporary scientists […] The world of the future, Emily’s world, depends on what happens in the present. Get this wrong and we’re all going South. It’s not often that fiction, a novel, genuinely manages to shock. There’s a kind of madness in this angry, passionate and vivid book. Tony White has synthesised his own small enlightenment […] So much for realism. White’s brutally fascinating story of past, present, and future feels far more solid. David Gullen, ‘We’re reading SHACKLETON’S MAN GOES SOUTH by Tony White’, Arcfinity / New Scientist’s Arc journal, 29 May 2013

The Science Museum has published its first ever work of fiction, a novel by its former writer-in-residence Tony White that was inspired by a lost fragment by one of the members of Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated 1911 Antarctic expedition – one of the earliest tales ever to mention climate change. White, a critically acclaimed novelist, was researching the expedition when he stumbled across the fragments of a story by George Clarke Simpson written for the “South Polar Times”, the homemade newspaper that was passed around on Scott’s journey to the south pole.  Alison Flood, Science Museum publishes climate change novel’, The Guardian, 26 April 2013

White maintains a steady hand to distinguish vision from empirical data […] avoids the vulgarity and conviction of argument, annoys enemies with tinctures of understanding and is old enough by now to not know everything. An obligate limelight spoils certain writers. White works away from anything like that in a positive underground. White has produced something about climate change and its political, existential freight with the same mysterious qualities of ‘The House on the Borderline’ [sic.]. White’s concern is whether science can tell the right stories. […] The book’s weird earnest zest reminds me of the ‘Quatermass’ movies and the novels of Michael Moorcock. It has an expansive note, like a quarreling genius. I like the ramifying notes and its continuing recrudescence. But it carries a soft whispering sound of torture, drones, heat death, poverty and rape in its muted cleave. Richard Marshall, 3am Magazine, 23 April 2013

El mundo es un caos. El cambio climático ha derretido los Polos y forzado a cientos de miles de personas, entre ellas Emily y su hija Jenny, a huir a la Antártida, convertida en un continente verde y frondoso. Este es el argumento de la primera novela de ficción publicada por el Museo de Ciencia de Londres. Su autor, Tony White, aborda cómo el cambio climático puede remodelar el mundo actual y afectar a la política, la sociedad y la cultura. Cristina Gallardo, Gravedad Cero (Madrid), 30 April 2013

With Shackleton’s Man Goes South, Tony White has written a bold novel-cum-manifesto, a prophecy, satire, and warning, and a gripping polar allegory for the era of global warming and human trafficking. In the steps of Swift, Blake and Aldous Huxley, he brings a puzzlemaster’s ingenuity, a political observer’s despair, a voracious appetite for geo-political knowledge and a storyteller’s sense to create a stark vision of a future that may be coming sooner than anyone can bear to think.  Marina Warner

Of course, there are points White is very keen to make, but he destroys his fiction to do it. […] masterfully understated, building a growing sense of horror that this is not really fiction. Duncan Lawie, Strange Horizons

I was reminded of Tony White’s method in Shackleton’s Man Goes South (published by the Science Museum), which intercuts fictional and non-fictional sections in a technique which is really ‘critical/creative’, appropriating the forms of British disaster fiction (and making explicit references to Michael Moorcock’s own re-writings of the form of the scientific romance in the Nomads trilogy) to make an explicitly political point about climate change. @SciFiBaker, (SF) 365

The work is an indictment against indifference, critical of the blind eye society turns to issues such as human trafficking and the aggregation of waste in the environment. It aims to personalise the climate change rhetoric […] “The novel is an artistic response to climate change,” said White. “But everything’s based on issues that are happening now.” […] White’s novel is structured with a converging dual narrative in which a fact-based strand telling of the discovery of an “overlooked” short story, written in 1911 by polar explorer and scientist George Clarke Simpson, plays off and adds tension to what White calls the “melodrama”, a tale of refugees fleeing south, who are undertaking Shackleton’s journey in reverse. […] The dual structure reflects White’s belief that science and human experience are inextricably linked  Platform


 Dicky Star and the Garden Rule (novella, Forma)

A narrative irradiated by the media fallout from Chernobyl. Ken Hollings

The story is set the week or so after the Chernobyl disaster, in and around the Hyde Park/University area. One of the characters (Jeremy) is on the dole and gets a Giro every fortnight. His girlfriend (Laura) is a student and has annoying friends in CND. They both read Leeds Other Paper, hate Mrs Thatcher, and are worried sick about the radiation cloud. Jeremy does too many drugs, is a tormented arty type, reads too much Michael Moorcock and so is going a bit potty, and Laura is trying to get around to sensibly dumping him. The story manages to convey the general paranoia about Chernobyl perfectly. […] And there’s plenty of details that only someone who knew the area intimately at the time would know. […] One thing I’ve not mentioned is that the story incorporates all the answers from the Guardian Quick Crossword for each of the days it’s set. This might seem a bit random and could be intrusive but I think the trick is pulled off effectively. You would not guess there were all those wires and pulleys behind the seamless illusion of a realistic narrative. Having footnotes that reveal the clues and answers adds to the reading pleasure, I think; it’s a bit like watching Penn and Teller show you how it’s done and still being fascinated by the magic trick. Phil Kirby, Culture Vulture

White’s book follows Laura Morris and her boyfriend, the would-be art student Jeremy, through Saturday 26 April to Wednesday 7 May 1986 as news from Ukraine breaks. Mid 1980s life in Leeds is researched to the most granular detail, from extracts from Leeds Other Paper to references to free cassettes from the New Musical Express (NME). What is interesting is that in the spirit of Oulipo (Workshop of Potential Literature), which we now particularly associate with the work of novelist (and crossword compiler for Le Point) Georges Perec, White has determined a rule for each chapter: it must deploy the answers to that day’s quick crossword in the Guardian — this even generates the main characters’ names. As this crossword is not published on Sundays, there are no entries for those days. This is an elegant demonstration that using such a text engine need not compromise the high quality of writing. Stephen Bury, Art Monthly , No. 362 , December 2012

Foxy-T (novel, Faber and Faber)

Selected press 2003-2014. Buy Foxy-T from The Book Depository.

Tony White’s last “traditional” novel was published by Faber in 2003 – that is, traditional in its form and distribution. Michael Moorcock, writing in the Guardian, said that Foxy-T, a story about call shops and kids in the East End of London, proved that the contemporary novel “has never been more alive”. Its riot of street slang and Bengali-cockney idiom expressed the hybrid modernity of the contemporary city. But White’s work since has been anything but traditional, and even more contemporary. Observer, 9 February 2014

Tony White, whose 2003 novel, Foxy-T, which dramatises East End life using the hybrid, and ever evolving language that surrounded him, defends vernacular fiction from charges of inaccessibility. […] ‘I actually want to read literature that engages with the way that language is evolving, not one that reinforces a fixed idea of what the English language and writing is, or can be. None of us have a monopoly on that.’ Arifa Akbar, Independent

This is, in fact, the best book that has ever been written about Brick Lane. No doubt it would have won lots of prizes if the author had had a slightly different name. Anyway, it is about a community really, but it is based around two girls who work in a telephone and computer place off Cannon Street Road, the E-Z Call phone shop. There are all these dubious characters coming in who are out of young offenders institutes or whatever, people from the Bangladeshi community, and it’s really about the progress of these two girls, and the whole book is written in Bangladeshi idiom. It takes a while to get into, but then you do get into it and it’s an amazing tour de force. Roy Moxham, ‘Five Books’, The Browser

…this affectionate tale may tell you more about love, longing and ambition in the inner city than a dozen official reports. Indeed, some readers would argue that it captures the flavour of Asian lives in London E1 with more inside-track relish than another novel of 2003: Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. Boyd Tonkin, Independent

There have been a few East London books — Manzu Islam’s Burrow, Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, Farrukh Dhondy’s East End At Your Feet, there’s Claire Alexander’s sociological The Asian Gang; and there are more laddist, wide-boy fictions around — Londonstani, of course (though that’s about Hounslow) […] The book I like best is Tony White’s Foxy-T. Ventriloquism among the Cannon Street xeroxing machines, innit? Sukhdev Sandhu, 3am

Foxy-T was named last week on a list of lost masterpieces deserving a larger audience. By contrast, Londonstani secured its author a £300,000 advance and was, before the reviews, set to be the literary sensation of the year. Two novels, two very different receptions. This could simply be because one book is very good and the other rather poor; my suspicion is that it is related to the fact that Foxy-T was written by Tony White, who is white. Sarfraz Manzoor, Observer

“What’s your favourite British novel from the past ten years?” The other day I was with a group of friends, and someone posed this question. A few fairly obvious titles were suggested, which gave me time to think. And when it came my turn to speak, I said, “Foxy T by Tony White”. Toby Litt, The Guardian

In Foxy-T he excels himself. […] With vivid economy White describes young Bangladeshis’ domestic, business and street life in intelligent, beautifully sustained prose. Coherent and compelling, the novel has a wonderful, if slightly tricky, denouement which made me grin with surprised admiration. Rejecting familiar influences of the past 20 years, White joins a handful of contemporary writers who are proving that the novel has never been more alive. He is a serious, engaging voice of the modern city. Michael Moorcock, The Guardian

One of this year’s key novels […] an ingenious, beautifully crafted, thrillingly contemporary love story set in the Bangladeshi east end and narrated in that area’s distinctive patois […] A complex, clever book whose future status as a GCSE set text must be assured. Time Out

[…] there’s a strong element of “I couldn’t put it down”, built into this book [which] goes much further than just looking at a supposed bit of low culture – this is a London book, a genre or sub-genre which includes Ian Sinclair, Martin Amis, Peter Ackroyd, Victor Headley, Colin MacInnes and most significantly in this context, Monica Ali. […] Linguistically solid, Tony White should also be nominated for the Ian Dury award for zero use of fake Cockney rhyming slang. David Cunningham,

This is the real sound of the East End, and it deserves to be recognised. Hussain Ismail, The Lip Magazine

Foxy-T is a wonderful account of sexual obsession, the realities of life outside of the regeneration bubble and the experiences of second-generation Asian families, all told through White’s cunning eye for psychogeographic and linguistic detail. Init? 3am Magazine

[…] one of Tony White’s real strengths […] he has managed a sustained, 230-page narrative rendered entirely in “Banglish,” the soupy mix of English, Cockney and Bangladeshi spoken by the first-generation East End Londoner children of Bangladeshi immigrants. For many readers, this will probably seem almost impenetrable at first, but it is surprising how quickly and how easily it becomes transparent, like the Scottish of Irvine Welsh’s trainspotters or the Irish of Roddy Doyle’s Rabbits. Bookslut

An astonishing and audacious novel  – the compelling voice of Foxy-T reads like a 21st century update of Salinger’s Holden Caulfield. Michael Bracewell

A generous, tolerant and moving book. Through his incredibly sustained and convincing experiment in vernacular, White has fashioned an unusual and very welcome novel. At the core of this unique literary experience, lies a big, wide heart, always sweetly beating. Niall Griffiths

In his new novel Foxy-T, Tony White writes the urban contemporary in perfect modern English: a broken-rhythmic patois that has nothing to do with the Literacy Hour and everything to do with real words coming out of real mouths. What’s more, unlike so much of the hard/urban/gritty ‘realism’ being traded at the moment, his is also a sweet and sad love story that stars real girls, instead of wish fulfilment faux-chicks. Truly impressive. Stella Duffy

One of the best London novels you’ll ever get to read. Toby Litt, Herald on Sunday


Albertopolis Disparu (A Science Museum Booklet)

**Print edition now unobtainable** N.B. ‘Albertopolis Disparu’ became the opening chapter of the novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South, also published by the Science Museum.

Weirdly Brilliant Steampunk Thing. Anyone who loves alternative versions of London a la Neil Gaiman or Alan Moore should get their hands on Albertopolis Disparu, a short story available for free at the Science Museum. It’s a densely-laden tale of secret machines, converted turrets and tunnels and Edwardian techno-espionage, played out over the rooftops and catacombs of Exhibition Road. Any eight-page story that references Michael Moorcock and ends with a fleet of Zeppelins attacking Imperial College with plasma weapons is a winner with us. The campaign starts here to persuade the author, Tony White, to turn this into a full-length novel. Londonist

White uses primary texts to create his secondary ones and overtly cites five sources, plus the James Colvin ‘Terminal Session’ triple bluff that cavorts back to the great Michael Moorcock who started it in the first place and then back again (which adds up to three) plus the ‘listening post’ pothook of the South Kensington Science Museum plus the American Technical Society of 1911 publication. It might be a story but more likely it merely reads like one to the casual peruse. […] White is a killer. He’s the deal. Richard Marshall, 3am Magazine

Albertopolis Disparu startet mit einer Referenz an Michael Moorcock und endet mit einer Flotte Zeppeline, die mit Plasmawaffen angreifen, was will man mehr? Clockworker

White says he saw the residency as ‘a means to reflect on the kinds of stories that the Science Museum tells the world about itself, about its collections’ […] While in residence White organised workshops and used the Museum’s resources to help situate his story. [Albertopolis Disparu] offered new means of thinking about science as a cultural activity, created a community of writers with similar interests and offered the public a free and unusual opportunity. Museums Journal

Albertopolis Disparu […] was published as ‘A Science Museum booklet’, a disused publishing imprint that [White] discovered in the Museum’s archives and which the Museum revived for the occasion. 5,000 copies were printed and distributed for free via a dedicated display in the Museum, at accompanying events and at a Victorian cabman’s shelter in South Kensington (local publishers used to distribute free books and newspapers to cab drivers at these shelters). Urban Words


Another Fool in the Balkans (nonfiction, Cadogan)

Currently out of print. Buy Another Fool in the Balkans from Abe Books.

…one of those perceptive and offbeat books that offer something of an antidote to the straw-hatted, Zorba-ate-my-donkey narratives that blight English-language travel writing elsewhere . . . stands up very well as an informed and sympathetic travel companion.  Jonathan Bousfield, Time Out Croatia

This highly intelligent book is required reading for anyone interested in the changing face of Europe and how a culture redefines itself after a decade of war. Sunday Telegraph

Another Fool in the Balkans, as the title suggests, does not come to sweeping conclusions, but as far as it goes – it helps clear some of the murk surrounding the region, just as West’s travelogue did more than sixty years ago. Times Literary Supplement

White’s profoundly fascinating, highly idiosyncratic book celebrates the region and its culture […] This is no conventional travel book, though he does have a way of making you yearn to taste the region’s food and wine, and his novelist’s sense of character brings even the simplest taxi-driver to life […] White not only makes you want to pack a bag and leave immediately for Belgrade or Istrea [sic.], he has captured the confusion and courage of those who have survived with their souls and their idealism intact. Daily Telegraph

[White has] a fair eye for detail. His style is brisk and accessible, and his affection for the countries he writes about is clear. White’s travels make for a good read. Adam LeBor, New Statesman

White writes beautifully and I enjoyed following his escapades throughout the country […] I laughed out loud often […] White knows his history. He’s a fine writer. Janine di Giovanni, Scotsman


Charlieunclenorfolktango (novel, Codex Books)

Currently out of print. Buy Charlieunclenorfolktango from Abe Books.

[…] the marginal but intriguing terrain of avant-pulp. It’s here that writers such as Tony White (CharlieUncleNorfolkTango) [sic.], Stewart Home (Down and Out in Shoreditch and Hoxton) and Peter Sotos (Index) channel the energy and drive of pornography, the skinhead paperbacks of Richard Allen and the cartoon anarchism of Leo Baxendale’s Beano comics to escape the stylistic and rhetorical corsets of the metropolitan novel. Sukhdev Sandhu, Telegraph

These days, if you want innovation in crime fiction, you’re better off looking closer to home. Tony White’s Charlieunclenorfolktango sure as hell stands out from the norm. Imagine a cross between Clockwork Orange and Irvine Welsh’s Filth, and you’ll be somewhere close. Written in phonetic cockney geezer-speak and narrated by hell’s own copper […] there’s a berserk comic energy present that bodes well for White’s future. John Williams, Time Out

Charlieunclenorfolktango is a bizarre, depressing and unreadable book […] The gimmick is that the book is a monologue narrated entirely in phonetically spelled one-sentence paragraphs: ‘Coz yew gotta wav fuckin coppers in this weld ain chew eh.’ There are also strangely formal rhetorical set-pieces – notably a list of 50 ways a  ‘mad fuckin killer’ could have murdered you if there weren’t any police […] There’s also a comic scene involving a grindingly costive variant of the ‘my dog’s got no nose’ gag […] Most irritating of all, though, there’s a tirelessly reiterated opposition of the lights of civilisation and the ‘dark playsiz’, ‘playsiz ware the bryte lytes don’t reech’. ‘Patrollin the edges a the fuckin nyte’, Lockie concludes that ‘iss a ryte ole bastardin weld a lyte and shadders ain it,’ and muses on ‘ow blokes & birds on Erf can keep the dark dark nyte at bay’. Christopher Tayler, London Review of Books

Still trying to struggle through Irvine Welsh’s Filth? Give yourself a break, toss it and pick up this little number. The Rozzers, for it is they, are busy beating the living shite out of crims, driving around in a riot van, and being abducted by aliens. You are guaranteed to laugh or at least darkly smirk your face off as they muse philosophically on life the universe and what blokes and birds do. The Source

Charlieunclenorfolktango is contrived to ignite a reaction. Like an explosive concoction, this book threatens to unhinge our perception of normality and turn reality on its head. A political exercise in defamiliarisation. A highly satirical effort, White’s book throws us in at the deep end, making us work at extracting the meaning, shaking off complacency and taking a fresh look at ourselves. The Buzz

This is the most remarkable novel of alien abduction I’ve ever read. The entire book is written in a phonetic, verbal style, making it read as utterly brutal but darkly hilarious at the same time, and the strange thoughts that occur to the intellectually stunted Lockie make him a tragic figure, surrounded by sinister undercurrents. Every sentence is punctuated by filth, in that casual way that only the truly foul-mouthed can pull off successfully […] you can’t deny that this book is an original. Front


Satan! Satan! Satan! (novella, Attack Books)

Currently out of print. Buy Satan! Satan! Satan! from Abe Books.

As the author of crusty classic Road Rage, Tony White is sufficiently experienced to have written a real page-turner in Satan! Satan! Satan!, complete with comprehensible plot and trusty Northern vowels. He reincarnates Jim Jones as leader of a corrupt, happy-clappy Christian sect secretly devoted to micturition and buggery. In opposition is a fictional version of one of those mad Norwegian death metal bands who get too serious and start burning churches and murdering fellow musicians. Jonestown is re-enacted in Whitby where Dracula’s heinous legacy can be evoked. Intertextual, eldritch and demented, with a true occult edge, this would have made me delirious with dangerous joy were I still a teen ur-Goth. Elizabeth Young, The Guardian

Aieee! Mental pulp fiction that aims to warp the fragile minds of teenagers and take a blowtorch to the moral fabric of British society! Horny goths! Austin Osman Spare! Sinister xtian psycho cult leaders! Demonic Possession! Black Metal inadequates! Jim Jones’ finest hour replayed in the Northern vampire-nexus seaside town of Whitby! References to the Virgin Prunes and T.O.P.Y! What more do you want, eh? Uncarved

If you’re a dim teenage goth from oop north who doesn’t like reading, you might enoy this novel. Otherwise, avoid. Headpress


britpulp! — new fast and furious stories from the literary underground (short story anthology, Sceptre)

In Tony White’s fast-paced anthology of British ‘pulp’ writing, britpulp!, the youth ’sploitation novellas of Richard Allen — most famous for his ‘Skinhead’ stories of the 1970s — are taken as the template and inspiration of a visceral sub-culture of genre fiction. Editorially, White is drawn to the political capacity of ‘pulp’ to exploit social trends with a speed that is closer to journalism than fiction. But for all its parading of determinedly ‘anti-literary’ values, britpulp! reveals a collective sensibility which is morally centred and at times highly poetic. The violence of Lewis’s [sic.] ‘Skinhead’ novellas has been internalised by his literary successors, creating a method of story-telling in which realism itself has become synonymous with dysfunctionalism, and first-person narration relays the strain of being a participant in situations which are all but unliveable. Roy A. Bayfield’s description of the gradual tightening of mental illness, for example, or China Miéville’s diary of an elderly man’s descent into paranoia, convey a terrifying sense of refracted lucidity, and the heightened awareness of social control. The confrontational stance of britpulp! Reveals the fractures across the surface of society with intelligence and imaginative power. Michael Bracewell, The Guardian

It’s the tone of these short stories rather than their content that matters. Fast, tough, grubby, these narratives have the speed of a flying bullet and the taste of a bar at 3am— the literary equivalent indeed of a pulp film short. Pulp greats such as Ted Lewis, of Get Carter fame, and Hitchcock screenwriter Jack Trevor Story meet contemporary hitmen of the underground including Stewart Home and Stella Duffy. Metro, London

… a strong line-up of British talent which includes Stella Duffy, Victor Headley and Billy Childish, older fiction writers such as Ted Lewis, the creator of Get Carter … At its best, Nicholas Blincoe’s film noir-ish Parisian tale has tremendous fun with the genre. The Scotsman

‘Pulp’ as a literary genre is closely bound up with youth culture and has Richard Allen’s exploitation novel Skinhead as its classic paradigm. Michael Moorcock, Nicholas Blincoe and Billy Childish are the best-known names in this mixed bag for the bedsit bookshelf. Scotland on Sunday

Bright anthology — you need sunglasses to look at the cover — pulls together stories and observations from Britain’s ‘underground’ posse — including Michael Moorcock, Nicholas Blincoe and Richard Allen, late author of youth classics Skinhead and Suedehead. Nottingham Evening Post

Fast-twitch prose that fizzes and spits, narrative with a kick, jump-cuts that hurt like a knuckle in the eye … There’s only one rule: keep the pages turning. Let this book read you. Iain Sinclair

There’s no shortage of evidence of intergenerational connections in the book’s twenty-three stories. The book’s real strength … is in its discovery of new names — writers at the start of their careers. China Miéville’s Different Skies, an old fashioned horror story, satisfyingly chilling. Roy A. Bayfield scores a similar result in Signal, though the terror here is psychological rather than supernatural, a scary and disorientating vision of a recurring fugue state, while Jane Graham’s Kitchen Sink, the tale of a young girl set adrift in the heart of England, lives up to its title with it’s off-kilter picture of domestic life. All hail the new breed. Teddy Jamieson, The Herald (Glasgow)

Billed as ‘new fast and furious stories from the literary underground’ this does exactly what it says on the tin. Short stories and extracts from novels from the new generation of angry young men (and women), as well as some prose from Brit classics such as Michael Moorcock, who weighs in with a new Jerry Cornelius story, Ted Lewis, the late author of Get Carter and other hardboiled British crime ficton, and Richard Allen, author of the Skinhead youth cult books. Read it, get angry, and fight the system! West Lancashire Evening Gazette.

… a speedy tour of his own demi-monde, among whom can be found the brightest lights of British underground fiction. Highbury and Islington Express

In this ambitious anthology White brings together established purveyors of 60s and 70s pulp fiction and the writers from the current literary underground. The resulting concoction brims with violence, drugs, sex, perversions, rock ‘n’ roll and gangsters — so no Bridget Jones then, thankfully. It is a mixed bag and like a box of Quality Street, best dipped into rather than consumed in its entirety … There’s old hand Ted Get Carter Lewis with another icily violent slice of Jack Carter, an extract from Yardie specialist Victor Headley’s latest novel and JJ Connolly’s tale of cocaine-trading criminals. The female authors also stand out. Watch out for Stella Duffy’s bad girls and Catherine Johnson’s horse-murdering heroine. Kerry Potter, Heat

Tony White plugs key names and approaches from the ’70s — the comic brutalism of Richard ‘Skinhead’ Allen, the multiversal West London sci-fi of the great Michael Moorcock — into the ’90s pulp continuum exemplified by Stella Duffy’s inexorably poignant Jailbait and i-D’s very own Steve Beard with his supercondensed novella of a sponsored future English Civil War. An urgent, impatient and headstrong anthology. i-D Magazine

A key figure in the literary underground, Tony White has gathered together the first major collection of hard-hitting, aggressive stories that unites the explosive talents of the UK’s literary underground with giants of pulp fiction. These are rare, often raw stories, many previously unpublished, from the pens of pulp ‘greats’ such as Richard (Skinhead) Allen, Michael Moorcock, and Ted (Get Carter) Lewis, alongside all-new action stories from some of the most compelling authors writing in Britain today. New stories are contributed by CWA/Silver Dagger Award winner Nicholas Blincoe, best-selling Yardie author Victor Headley, Billy Childish, the notorious Stewart Home, Stella Duffy, Moss Side Massive author Karline Smith, Steve Aylett, Simon Lewis. With Steve Beard, Catherine Johnson, Jane Graham, Tim Etchells, JJ Connolly and China Miéville completing the list this collection offers the energy and excitement of nervy pulp ‘at its best’. The volume ends poignantly, with Riding Bareback, the last words, literally, of Hitchcock screenwriter, TV scriptwriter and eccentric Guardian columnist Jack Trevor Story, who signed off seconds before succumbing to a heart attack at his typewriter. Tony White, whose live readings with former Jam Hammond organ player James T Ford have garnered a cult following, has captured the spirit of pulp. Huddersfield Examiner

Drawing on the energies of the ’60s and ’70s pulp genre, Britpulp! Is a collection of writing which tells impromptu and sometimes improper tales of modern life, gratuitous visions which author Iain Sinclair argues ‘are the only reliable tales of the city’. Included are stories from the ‘English Bukowski’ Billy Childish and pulp greats Richard Skinhead Allen and Ted Carter. Among the not so legendary but just as startling are current crime favourite Nicholas Blincoe and Moss Side Massive author Karline Smith. New talent includes Jane Graham and style hack Steve Beard. These stories are superb at communicating the short and sharp, razor-edged moments of angst and passion which are usually left best to three-minute pop songs. If you ever fancy a quick blast of hedonistic, head-thumpin’ agi-pop, try picking up a copy of Britpulp! instead. This is fast moving prose which bites. The Latest, Brighton


Road Rage! (novella, Low Life Books)

Currently out of print. Buy Road Rage! from Abe Books.

Who would have guessed that Richard Allen’s range of ’70s bootboy novels would have proved so influential? First Stewart Home samples the speed and aggression in order to turn round the political message and make the link with Burroughs and Blake; then Victor Headley steals a few riffs to draw up a map of the Black Atlantic in London. […] what subculture could be appropriated next? Tony White’s Road Rage makes it clear. Mixing psycho-social realism and techno-pagan fantasy, Tony White stakes out a position between Stewart Home and Martin Millar to offer a vision of London which is romantic, revolutionary […] This is a signpost to the fantastic worlds of a Michael Moorcock or an Alan Garner, and it’ll be interesting to see what White does next. i-D magazine

The dawn of the crusty novel is upon us and you’d better be ready! The cover has a picture of a young man, probably unemployed, covered in compost and bearing a flaming torch. ‘Cider punk fiction for the cider punk generation!’ screams the back. Inside is the tale of Will, a road protester with a tattooed penis and an axe to grind. A lethal combination. Random quote: ‘Did you get your Giro, then?’ Loaded

A potent mix of gritty realism a la Richard Allen, Celtic esoteric tomfoolery and DIY politics cemented with a keen sense of humour. Kinokaze

A typical teen pulp fiction novel, lots (and lots) of sex, a bit of violence, a loose plot set against a backdrop of the crusties against big business. Then Celtic magic comes into play, to take on the evil and perverted leader of the government backed Roads 4U. Trashy and tacky — it’s great! Scootering

Falling somewhere between Michael Moorcock and Richard Allen, White’s debut as a novelist is quite startling. Not only is it well written, it’s immensely readable, completely sick and about as much fun as you can have without a puppy and a sharp stick. Melody Maker

Pulp fiction for crusties – what a horrible thought. Middle class and articulate, full of cider, dirty combat trousers, squats, dogs on strings, Celtic body art and other subcultural must-haves, this book is a waste of good trees, many of which will have been pulped (rather than occupied) in order for this to have been printed. The Big Issue

A pocket-sized piece of pulp fiction. I don’t want to give anything away, but this book is cleverer than it sounds. A quick and funny read. The Edge


More clippings and cuttings coming soon…

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