|About the Book|
COLLECTED WRITINGS, 2006-10 -Four Years to Life is a book to dip into or peruse at your leisure, whichever you so choose, which makes it the ideal vade mecum to accompany you to your place of work, rest, play, relaxation, ablution and holiday abode.MoreCOLLECTED WRITINGS, 2006-10 -Four Years to Life is a book to dip into or peruse at your leisure, whichever you so choose, which makes it the ideal vade mecum to accompany you to your place of work, rest, play, relaxation, ablution and holiday abode. It is a book to inspire conjecture, reflection, speculation, laughter and debate. It is whimsical, nostalgic, lyrical, inventive, and seldom less than totally hilarious, too.Four Years to Life is Bill Keeth’s fourth published book and brings together a wide variety of articles, book reviews and autobiographical pieces from that same period of time (2006-10) when his previous book titles were being published to no small acclaim. Shortlisted for the prestigious Portico Prize in 2006, Bill Keeth’s debut novel, Every Street in Manchester, has sold thousands of copies worldwide. Then came a contemporaneous sequel, Manchester Kiss, and the non-fiction title, Write It Self-Publish It Sell It, both of which were Portico longlisted in 2008.Much of the material in Four Years to Life first appeared in the north Manchester-based Life magazine to which the author has contributed a monthly column over the past four years. Hence the title of this collection, though there is another implication relating to his erstwhile career in Manchester schools. Many pieces are taken, too, from Bill Keeth’s WISP column [Write It Self-Publish], a regular mainstay of ‘How to Tell a Great Story’, the popular literary website which emanates from downtown Kuala Lumpur to circumnavigate the globe four and twenty times each calendar year.Meanwhile, Four Years to Life kicks off with a no-holds barred interview with Bill Keeth conducted by another controversial Manchester writer, Colin Blaney (Grafters), hot on the heels of which Bill Keeth throws down centre stage and unpacks to comic effect a bulging rucksack containing his personal reminiscences of the Pennine Way and an assortment of folk he has known to frequent it.‘Piquant as a pavement pizza on Back Piccadilly’ Lambert Ealingham, Hebers & Tonge Telegraph‘Would not give house room to it if I hadn’t copped for a freebie’ Carpetbagger, Fiducial Thames‘Hard hitting as a Harpurhey hooligan, albeit articulate with it’ Trivia Bullworker, Gruinard‘All that can be said in its favour is that it’s something I picked up, like this head cold, when stranded overnight in that wearisome northern latitude’ Tavistock Greenlee, Sunday Thames‘Funny, informative, incisive, lunatic, surreal, and ultimately irrelevant in any literary sense, given its provenance in the north-west hinterland’ Ged Ferret, Obverser ‘Proof indeed that North-West Arts is to be congratulated on its refusal to throw so much as a brass farthing of this year’s £2.5M of public funding at indigenous literary chancers as opposed to ensuring that Woad-Wearing Whicker-Weavers remain financially feasible’ Andrew Gutter, Daily Mess ‘Mancunian humour runs through all its pages like a seam of gold. Bill Keeth writes with warmth, acuity and wit. Don’t miss reading him’ Billy Hopkins, best-selling author of Our Kid, High Hopes, Kate’s Story, Going Places, Anything Goes, Tommy’s World.