We are delighted to announce that we have published our first ever print title, Unaccustomed as I Am (and other stories), a volume of stories and parodies by Brian Quinn from Penny Post. We hope you enjoy it.
The locations range from the Lambourn Valley to Las Vegas, from the Hundred Acre Wood to a dark and secret basement, from a steam train to a drug den and from Suffolk to Provence.
The cast includes the Earl of Berkshire, Mr Chivers from Planning, Sherlock Holmes, thirteen crime writers, a distracted mother, an enraged greengrocer, a hopeless salesman, a sinister collector, a lonely pharmacist, a professor of Neological Linguistics, a municipal inspector, a sentient racehorse and an inner yak.
As for the themes, the book offers a chaotic interview, an inept public performance, an unexpected wedding, a messed-up exam and a good deed gone wrong; a burning telephone, a murder mystery without a body, a trip to the seaside in the 1950s, Richard IV’s map, two doses of broken glass and four famous sleuths in search of some lost teaspoons – 26 tales of confusion, misunderstanding, tragedy, parody and farce.
“What a truly delightful collection Unaccustomed As I Am is. There is such pleasure in being in Brian Quinn’s company as he ranges thoughtfully, insightfully and often comically over subjects major and minor, from vivid childhood and student memories and pitch-perfect parodies of Hemingway and Shakespeare to short stories of real power and punch.”
“Brian Quinn’s collection of short stories has kept me going through Christmas and new year: clever, witty, laugh-out-loud funny…I loved the fearless parodies of Hunter S Thompson and Shakespeare, the blissfully funny Pooh and Piglet revelations and send-ups of life’s absurdities. Perfect lockdown reading.”
Kylie Sanderson, Stroud
“I love reading Brian’s stories and pastiches in Penny Post. A personal favourite is the parody of Pooh and Piglet – now I know what they get up to in the evenings. It’s therefore wonderful that these funny and clever stories are collected in book form. Just in time for Christmas too!”
Emma Milne-White, Hungerford Bookshop
“Reading these, I found myself tossed around in worlds which felt both surprising and yet alarmingly familiar. Brian evokes universal feelings of angst and bewilderment, made enticing and moreish by his wit and attention to detail. This is a visceral read – every story a delight.”
Rebecca Lacey, Coleford
“This is the wittiest read – the perfect present to lighten the load of a tough year. It is top drawer, A List, Premier League, World Series, Ashes-winning quality writing. Nobody could have got a better performance out of those words. I love the mixture of precision, self effacement, excoriating sideswipes and downright silliness. Bravo.”
Roy Ackerman, London
“I opened this on a very quiet train going to Loughborough. I then nearly blew a rib trying not to laugh out loud at the first few stories but I did get some very funny looks from the only other occupant of the carriage…”
Cate Earl, Lambourn
“Brian Quinn is an accomplished writer who observes himself and others with a refreshing awareness of their humour, incongruity, pretensions and humanity. I laughed out loud a lot. A real pick and mix of a book and great for these times of digital fatigue when only a well written short story will do! Buy it!”
Lindsey Kirk, Brussels
“While the stories are based mostly in and around West Berkshire, don’t think for a minute they will only interest those that know the area. Anybody that has experienced the countryside, or even seen Withnail & I, will happily enjoy it.”
Ed Pownall, Lambourn
“I love the book – witty observations and eye-opening adventures. I love reading the next story when I get a chance and will be very sad when I have finished it.”
Nick Lumley, Hungerford
“Our copy, ordered from Hungerford Bookshop, arrived today and I read the first chapter standing up in the kitchen whilst cooking supper. I laughed out loud and so this delightful book has been catapulted to the top of my read pile, leapfrogging Monty Don and others. I can’t wait to read more. Well done, Brian.”
Karen Sperrey, East Garston
“A highly amusing – and sometimes alarming – collection of pieces, some very acute parody and some of a darker and more philosophical bent. If you liked Winnie the Pooh when you were a kid, but can stand having your innocent memories vandalised, look no further than here. If you are an Hemingway fan, then you will enjoy this posthumous addition to his oeuvre.”
Jon Crowcroft, Cambridge
If you would like to add a review of your own, please see the Comments box at the foot of this post.
How to order your copy
We are resisting Amazon (although it seems that it is not residing us) in order to support local bookshops. Here are various easy ways to get hold of a copy:
• From the Hungerford Bookshop. Order it online here.
The Bookshop offers a click-and-collect service (and free delivery within the town).
• From the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough and the Madhatter Bookshop in Wantage.
See their websites for delivery and collection arrangements during lockdown.
• From any bookshop, whether or not it currently stocks the book.
If you have a local bookshop which you’d like to support, just give them these details so they can order it for you:
Title: Unaccustomed as I Am
Published by: Penny Post
Available from: Gardners or Central Books
If you are ordering from abroad
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of copies and the delivery address and the bookshop will get straight back to you to confirm the shipping cost and arrange payment.
For any other enquiries
For anything else (including photographs, hi-res cover images, copy and interviews), please email email@example.com.