“Simply stupendous” – The Rhymer by Douglas Thompson now available

Satire on contemporary society, especially the art world, published in genre-defying lyrical novel from Scottish author

DARTFORD, KENT – 2 May 2014 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication today of Douglas Thompson’s, The Rhymer, an Heredyssey, which has already been praised by renowned writer and essayist Rhys Hughes as “simply stupendous”. Thompson, chairman of the Scottish Writers’ Centre in Glasgow, has been widely published in magazines, anthologies and online. The Rhymer, his eighth novel, is his second to be published by Elsewhen Press.

Palimpsest derived from photos of Leonardo’s work by Janaka Dharmasena/shutterstock.com Original artwork by Alison Buck
Palimpsest derived from photos of Leonardo’s work by Janaka Dharmasena/shutterstock.com
Original artwork by Alison Buck

The Rhymer, an Heredyssey defies classification in any one literary genre. A satire on contemporary society, particularly the art world, it is also a comic-poetic meditation on the nature of life, death and morality. Nadith, a wanderer who appears to be an amnesiac or possibly brain-damaged tramp, is on a journey through the satellite towns and suburbs of a city called Urbis. With spiteful intentions, he is seeking his brother Zenir, a successful artist, who is always two steps ahead of him. But as his brother’s fortunes wane, his own seem to be on the increase. When Nadith finally catches up with Zenir, what will they make of each other? Told entirely in the first person in a rhythmic stream of lyricism, Nadith’s story reads like Shakespeare on acid, leaving the reader to guess at the truth that lies behind his madness. Is Nadith a mental health patient or a conman? … Or, as he himself comes to believe, the reincarnation of the thirteenth century Scottish seer True Thomas The Rhymer, a man who never lied nor died but disappeared one day to return to the realm of the faeries who had first given him his clairvoyant gifts?

Rachel Kendall, writer and editor of Sein und Werden, was delighted to write an introduction to The Rhymer in which she says, “Obviously Thompson is a risk-taker, a dare-devil member of the literati, to propose such a feat as this. … He is a master craftsman, pulling out all the stops with exceptional timing (comic and otherwise).”

Rhys Hughes, Welsh writer and essayist said: “The oldest and best stories in the world were told rhythmically, lyrically, with the music of beauty, terror, loss and longing. It’s a form that has fallen somewhat into disuse in recent decades, and that’s a shame. But Douglas Thompson, a new writer of immense promise, is helping to find this wondrous method again, to ensure that the newest and best stories are also told rhythmically, lyrically, with the music of beauty, terror, loss and longing, and, in The Rhymer, to additionally fuse the form with modern and unique concepts, to create an effect that is richly complex but simply stupendous.”

The Rhymer, an Heredyssey is available from today on eBook platforms including Kindle, iTunes, Kobo.

About Douglas Thompson

Douglas Thompson’s short stories have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, most recently Albedo One, Ambit, Postscripts, and New Writing Scotland. He won the Grolsch/Herald Question of Style Award in 1989 and second prize in the Neil Gunn Writing Competition in 2007. His first book, Ultrameta, published in 2009, was nominated for the Edge Hill Prize and shortlisted for the BFS Best Newcomer Award, and since then he has published four subsequent novels, Sylvow, Apoidea, Mechagnosis, Entanglement and has two more forthcoming, The Brahan Seer and Volwys.