Cover art for How to Shame the Devil
Night Parrot Press, November 2021

How to Shame the Devil

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Her silence did not mean yes.

Art Lambkin, newly confined to a nursing home, is terrified of being erased from the outside world. Determined to remain relevant, he engages in a correspondents war on the Letters Page of his daily newspaper, pitting his acerbic wit against a rogue gallery of bigots, windbags and egomaniacs. But when a woman surfaces from Arts long-ago past, he soon becomes the villain in a scandal that threatens to destroy everything - and everyone - he knows.

Recommended by Bill

Bill is one of the founders of Boffins and has selected the books we stock since the store began in 1989. It’s a job that he loves. His favourite reading is history, with psychology, current affairs, and business books coming close behind. He’s very fussy with fiction, with a rule that if a novel hasn’t earned his attention by page 50 then it’s time to start a new one. Magic realism causes him great anxiety, and of course he’d never agree with you if you said that is because he’s an earth sign.

Imprisoned in a nursing home, bound by the memories of failed relationships, Arthur Lambkin’s quest for relevance through the letters pages of his local paper has dire and unforeseen consequences. Ros Thomas has penned a clever allegorical novella that I consumed in a sitting, during which I ran the gamut of emotions. What started as outrageously, acerbically funny became somewhat sad and reflective, and then when there was hope it was soon removed by the consequences of past actions. The story finishes with a thud, and I was left reflecting on how the issues that matter to us today were once buried by the mores of their time, and of how difficult it can be to deal with the past. I highly recommend it.

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