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Jack Trevor Story

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  • Jack Trevor Story

    Hi Mike,

    I'm a recent Jack Trevor Story convert (a lonely vocation - none of my friends or family have heard of him!) and as you were his friend for many years do you think he will ever be "rediscovered" by the public at large? Too late for the man himself of course but nevertheless his novels and non-fiction pieces, in my humble opinion, have many attractive qualities and often contain surprising insights aside from being purely enjoyable to read. It is frustrating to read in Brian Darwent's biography "Romantic Egotist" about the many unpublished novels of Jack's lying around. It is a pity that Penguin don't reprint a series of his novels, say with a uniform design and an attractive layout, to attract potential new readers. Granted, sales of his books were not great in his lifetime but perhaps publishers should make better use of marketing tools - especially in this day and age - to promote Jack Trevor Story and maybe (fingers crossed!) get those unpublished novels into print.

    Wishful thinking I suspect. For anybody out there wanting to start JTS I would personally reccommend "Hitler Needs You" or "Morag's Flying Fortress" but I have enjoyed all of Jack's books. I understand, Mike, you consider "Shabby Weddings" to be the best thing he ever wrote? Will it ever be published as a whole?

    In case all the above seems too off-the-point - I am also a fan of yours Mike!

    Good Luck,

    Sycamore Andy
    Northern Ireland

  • #2
    Further to my e-mail above: if anybody else has any thoughts on JTS feel free to contribute.

    Andy

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    • #3
      I tried, Sycamore, I tried ....

      I'm sure that at some point there were more posts on JTS, but then the Multiverse imploded, and we are left with a depleted / alternate timestream.

      Anyway, I have only read the Albert Argyll trilogy, but I thought they were pretty damn good, refreshingly unsentimental about "the class question" compared to novels from the late 50s / early 60s with many apparent similarities (think A Kind of Loving / Sat Night Sunday Morning, etc). Strangely, I found my copy of Live Now Pay Later in my grandfather's house after he died. he was born 1896, was a fairly god-fearing country-living Scot, so I wish I had had a chance to ask what he thought of this cynical new-town romance!

      Have you (Has anyone?) seen the film of LNPL with Iain Hendry and Liz Fraser? If so, is it any good?
      \"Killing me won\'t bring back your apples!\"

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      • #4
        I haven't seen Live Now, Pay Later but I have seen The Trouble With Harry of course. If any Sky channel ever gets the gumption to repeat Jack On The Box, Story's hilarious and moving tv series from ATV 1979 it would be most welcome. In the meantime you can enjoy the book of the series published by Savoy in Manchester and available direct from the publisher.

        A further note: JTS reviews The Final Programme and A Cure For Cancer in his collection of Guardian columns Letters To An Intimate Stranger - they're well worth reading.


        Sycamore

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        • #5
          Jack Trevor Story

          There is also a website dedicated to JTS:

          http://www.jacktrevorstory.co.uk/

          --lapis

          Comment


          • #6
            That's right, I forgot the website. It's well worth seeking out, very detailed and informative.

            Savoy Books also have a little information about JTS on their site including Mike Moorcock's article "Jack's Unforgettable Christmas" detailing the incident when Story and his girlfriend were assaulted by the police.

            On a further note, Jack's books are quite easy to obtain on the web. I usually have good luck with Amazon UK's secondhand service or Abebooks.co.uk. Unfortunately, the novel "Crying Makes Your Nose Run" has eluded me so far. If it does ever appear, I suspect the price will be pretty high.

            Cheers

            Sycamore

            Comment


            • #7
              I continue to try to get Jack's unpublished work published and I think by persevering we'll get there in the end! Shabby Weddings, for instance, his last novel, is wonderful. Ultimately, it might be an idea to make a number of his books available to a POD publisher and it might be worth fans of Jack's writing to any they know to suggest it. Certainly his most famous books (as well as the Fenton trilogy) should be available.
              In my Mammoth Miscellany, to be published by Constable in time for Christmas, I reprint one of Jack's earliest published short stories, which appeared in the first number of the London Mystery Magazine with illustrations by Ronald Searle. I also have manuscripts of various comedy thrillers in their pre-Sexton Blake forms, which also deserve to be made available. A wealth of material. It's strange that those who write comedy about the English working class or lower middle class almost never get remembered or noticed by critics or publishers. Is it because they are only interested in seeing their own class reflected ?
              Both Iain Sinclair and myself have made it our business to keep Jack's name alive and for some years I have awarded the Jack Trevor Story cup (that's what it is -- a china cup....) to the writer who most seems to reflect Jack's mind set. This year it is very likely going to go to Ian Sansom's Ring Road, which I reviewed a week or two back in The Guardian. The review (which mentions Jack) can be found at www.guardian.co.uk under Books.
              We soldier on. Some of those books are still available from Savoy.

              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

              Comment


              • #8
                Jack Trevor Story

                I was delighted to find this site as I am one of Jack's daughters and it was great to see such positive pieces about Dad. Most older people but very few younger ones have heard of LNPL and TWH although this was on TV a couple of years ago and my daughter found a video of it in the States.
                Guy Lawley's website is a font of information about Dad and there is a small contribution from me "Lindsay's Archives which shows some neat items. As you will know all of Dad's books had an autobiographical element and I rememeber well the Police episode. He was living in Hampstead then and I was in Wimbledon so I used to see him a lot.
                Whilst Derwen'ts book appears to be quite accurate in most respects I'm afraid as a family we did not appreciate his pestering poor Dad when he was ill.

                Thank you again for your interest and keep chatting. Especial thanks to Michael of course for making it possible. Dad would love all this bless him!

                Comment


                • #9
                  JTS

                  Dear Mike
                  I do hope you are well. A fabulous new Specialist bookshop has opened up in the premises below my flat and I went in there today and there you were! The proprietor and I got into conversation which led to my finding this website. Very many thanks indeed. What a thrill. I was only aware of Guy's before. I am now glued to the screen and going through your Q&A - how does one get these icons to work!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi, Linzi. Nice to hear from you. I don't get to this Forum very often, since I have a hard enough time keeping up with the Q&A! I thought Derwent was a pain in the bum, as did Jack. Jack only sardonically suggested he write his biography and then the guy started pestering him until Jack was flat out telling him to bugger off. He also supplied information to Robert Nye, who did Jack's obituary in The Times, which was downright innacurate. Robert apologised, not having known any better at the time. Much of the book is inaccurate and suggests Jack was a self-inventor, which he never was, as well as 'inconsistent', which we all are. Jack would tell him things just to shut him up, little suspecting the bloke would continue with the book. Jack deserves a lot better than Derwent. Maybe we should consider all getting together some time to produce a more accurate biographical sketch, if not a full-fledged biography. It's hard to find publishers for living writers at the moment, unfortunately, though that doesn't stop me plugging on, looking for people to republish the old ones and publish some of the unpublished ones, especially Shabby Weddings. Meanwhile, as others have noted here, it's still fairly easy to get Jack's books, including his Sexton Blake stories (which, after all, were mostly rewrites of other comic detective novels he'd written). I plan to include his first sale to London Mystery Magazine in my forthcoming Moorcock's Monster Miscellany, which Constable should be doing for this Christmas. We soldier on!

                    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                    Comment

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