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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Craig Stone’s The Last March Of The Pirate Snails follows Hope, a girl who finds a tunnel underneath her hospital bed, and travels on a dystopian journey with a snail across Orwellian-like wastelands.
The Last March of the Pirate Snails
With his latest novel, The Last March of the Pirate Snails, Craig Stone has done what no author has done before, as this is the first book in history to completely rhyme in verse and syllable count from start to finish.
This hugely poignant and genre bending tale is about a young cancer patient named Hope, who finds a tunnel beneath her hospital bed which transports her into the mind of a pirate snail. As two children travel with the snail across Orwellian-like wastelands, the unique structure of this poetical odyssey unfolds to share a narrative centring on the stresses of marriage, raising children and having to face the unthinkable – saying goodbye to a child and the child saying goodbye to life.
A tale about life, friendship, and coping with the sadness found in facing the impossible, this is an emotional slow crawl into love and the poetic grief of losing everything.
Never one to take the easy route to his storytelling, author, journalist and mental health advocate Craig Stone leaves his readers reflecting on the futility of all those ‘shiny’ things we hold dear, and the importance of grasping all that life has to offer before the inevitable comes knocking. His commitment to ensuring that the last word of each sentence of his novel rhymes with the next, and that each sentence in the entire book contains exactly 17 syllables, propels this novel into the ‘must-read’ category.
An accomplished storyteller who has taken the art of poetical writing to another level, Craig Stone is an author the world needs to hear more from.
Whilst there have been many books in written in verse, for example, Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate, which was all in verse, he did not write to a precise syllable structure. Nobody ever has, until now.
If every tale needs a meaning, my life has taught me this: don’t sell your dreams for the illusion of safety. We’re all going to die, but before that, is opportunity – life, is not a queue to pointless oblivion. If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be a doctor, get doctoring. Better to fail at something, than live for nothing.
Finding himself in the literary limelight many years ago having quit his job in the City to write his first book The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness whilst living in Gladstone Park, North London, Craig Stone’s second novel, Life Knocks, was shortlisted for the 2012 Dundee International Book Prize, judged by Stephen Fry and Philip Pullman.
Today, Craig is married with two children and lives in Kingston, West London. He is a mental health advocate and writes for the likes of The Guardian and Al Jazeera.
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