As a child, I wrote diaries. I loved January 1st, that new page and all the promise of a New Year. I always tried to make my handwriting neat, before it descended into a hurried scrawl by mid-month. I didn’t realise it until I looked back, but that bedtime habit really helped me through some difficult times.
I dreaded losing my first dog, Jude, and it was every bit as bad as I’d anticipated. He died when he was 12, his kidneys failed after years of treatment for allergies and itchy skin, which we had managed with the care of an excellent vet, and regular sea bathing says Amanda Nicol.
Long, long ago and far, far away
Was a place not unlike this
And long, long ago and far, far away
Was a place you could not miss (more…)
Neptune’s daughter sea salt spring
Drowning in it as you breathe her in
Feeling the drag towards the moon
Gather her up not a moment too soon (more…)
I found the book both passionate and poignant; I thought the description of mania and slow realisation/sense of alienation from the outside world was brilliantly portrayed and one of the bits that really moved me was his phone calls when the truth of his abandoned and isolated status from previous friends and associates came to life. Hilary (Occupational Therapist – Mental Health)
I am a Roughy Fish
I live for a very long time
I am to be found all over the world
The madness, the craziness, all the text book symptoms come to life. The seductive dreamlike internal logic of psychosis. I’d been fast-tracked to a dazzling paradise armed with cosmic insights you wouldn’t believe.
Mike’s writing Offsetters, her eco-thriller, but when her dog dies, she loses the plot. Her special piece of the natural world has gone forever. Is it too late to save the rest of it or are we all going down with our masters?
Eco-anxiety, climate change, how to be green, the sea, walking, seagulls, the internet, conspiracy theories, oil, writing books, a stupid love affair, grief, hope, allotments, real live people, their dead pets and the social imperative to reconnect with the laws of nature before it’s too late – Dead Pets Society is a call to conscious evolution! And it’s funny.
‘Essential reading. A heartfelt and heartrending novel that simultaneously illuminates our unique relationships with animals and exposes the apocalyptic mess we make of the planet.’
‘A fascinating combination of a book within a book; it contains all the emotions; the ecological research is impressive, and it’s about real life. Everyone should read it.’
This ‘book within a book’ is fascinatingly full of facts, emotions and just about everything else. Its message is clear: we need to care about our planet as much and as dearly as we love our pets. There is truth here, as well as poignancy and humour … Recommended – particularly if you like a book that has a deeper meaning behind a heartwarming message of hope.’
‘A wonderfully fast-paced story full of page-turning wit and ironic good humour. Some laugh out loud moments sprinkled with a deadly serious message. A call to eco-action and global awareness.’
‘Intelligent, sharp, ironic, with pathos, bathos and everything that life can throw at you. The author brings a very real world into focus. Having read two other novels by Amanda Nicol ‘House of Bread’ and ‘Badric’s Island’ I knew I was in for humour, debate and well-informed writing … I urge other readers to invest in this fresh and stimulating novel.’
‘A book full of warmth and love. This is the third book of Amanda Nicol’s that I’ve read, following on from House of Bread and Badric’s Island, and I’ve loved each one. The story concerns Mike (Michelle) and is told in the first person. She is writing a book in which the central character is Claire who also relates her story in the first person. So, we have the I of Mike and the I of Claire, and behind them both the I of the unseen puppet mistress, Amanda Nicol, the creator of them both. The story is set in a seaside town, which, as far as I remember is never named, but which has a close resemblance to Hastings in East Sussex, and is where the author lives. The stories of Mike and Claire weave in and out of each other giving a rich texture to the book. Mike’s dog has recently died and she is lost without him, and it is that which leads her to the idea of founding the Dead Pets Society, and from that that she meets other people whose pets have died. Claire’s story opens with some mystery about where her son has got to. Both stories play out against a background of concerns about the environment and the apparent destruction of the planet, of trying to understand relationships and their love lives, sex lives. I suppose one might say, trying to find the meaning of life. Amanda Nicol’s writing reminds me, in some ways, of the work of Virginia Woolf, one of my favourite authors. She has something of the same intermingling of voices and the same talent for description.’