July 19, 2010

Book Giveaway: Greg Baxter’s A Preparation for Death

Posted in Baxter Greg at 9:14 am by John Self

Few books this year have had me launch into such trills of praise as Greg Baxter’s A Preparation for Death. It is a vigorous, painful, bright-eyed wonder. Not everyone agrees: Will Rycroft found it “infuriating” (though also “beautiful”). Inside Books thought it at times “plain disturbing” (as did I, which was one of the things I loved about it). In the UK press, the only review I’ve seen was in the Sunday Times (now hidden behind a paywall), which praised the book but then spent most of its length detailing negative points. Sometimes it seemed like the only person who loved the book as much as I did was Anne Enright.

So I hope this draw will find A Preparation for Death a few more willing submissives. Penguin have generously offered five copies to readers of this blog. If you think it might be your cup of Marmite, say so below and your name will be entered in a draw for a free copy. The only requirement is that you should come back here and share your thoughts on the book, positive or, er, not so positive. (Or do so on your own blog, or Amazon etc.) The draw closes at midnight BST on Saturday 24 July 2010 and is open to entrants worldwide.

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  1. Brendan Strong said,

    This may well be my marmite. I enjoy being challenged by fiction – and certainly your review and the snippets you’ve quoted above indicate that this is exactly what this book will do.

  2. Hm, I’ll sign up. From your review I could either love it or absolutely loathe it. Marmite, as Brendan says.

    Which makes it sort of tempting.

  3. Clare said,

    I’m in. Have been meaning to read this and would definitely review it on my blog. Thank you. Clare

  4. Alan said,

    John, please include me in your draw. Many thanks. Alan

  5. Paul M. Cray said,

    I may be the only person in the world who is indifferent to Marmite – I can take it or leave it – but I’d be very happy to be entered into the draw.

  6. Dear Mr Self,

    I’d like to toss my hat in the ring, my keys in the bowl, my name in your draw for a copy of Baxter’s “A Preparation for Death”.

    Thanks now.

  7. Paul Bremner said,

    I love an unloved book!

  8. Rosie said,

    I love marmite with cheese, so if you send me one I’ll put it on a cracker with a slice of cheese and tell you if it goes down well.

  9. Hello, I’d like to enter the draw please.



  10. Carlos Bruen said,

    Saw the author give a talk here in Dublin recently, very engaging. Please put my name into the draw.

  11. Julie said,

    Would love to throw my hand (and any other body part required) into the ring for a copy of the book.

    Fingers crossed my name is drawn…I never win anything (sympathy vote!?).

  12. Melissa said,

    I hate Marmite. But believe this book would be very meaningful to me, having watched my mother prepare for her death (from ALS) with such grace and dignity.

    Though I assume over here in Australia, this isn’t open to me. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on it though.

  13. Paul sweeney said,

    Yes me in please.

  14. Mary said,

    Recently found out that marmite is the french for cooking pot, so please put my name in the pot!

  15. Justine said,

    Love to be entered in the draw for this – it sounds right up my street!



  16. whiterice said,

    Like Paul, I love to love a loathed booked!

  17. Count me in!

  18. Turlough O'Riordan said,

    count me in too

  19. Tom said,

    I’m in too!

  20. Ronak M Soni said,

    I’m in for it.

  21. Deirdre said,

    Put me in the hat please! Will mention on blog!

  22. Ronak M Soni said,

    Forgot to say, I promise a blog post too.

  23. Aoife said,

    I’d love a copy of this book. I read your review, but also heard some great comments from friends. I want to read this book.

  24. Annie said,

    It is against the law to review this book without using the word “infuriating”.

    Count me in please.

  25. Kerry said,

    Throw in my name too, please.

  26. Sounds like an interesting read! Please put my name in the hat. I’d be happy to review the book. Thanks!

  27. Frances said,

    Seems like a fair and promising proposition. Thanks for the offer.

  28. Kumquat said,

    Yes pleease :) I loved your last reco I bought.

  29. Urbana said,

    Please add my name too. Thanks!

  30. amner said,

    I’ll toss my hat into the ring, too.

  31. Rosie said,

    Having briefly been a student of Greg’s, I’d be interested to read it and knowing that he’s a regular reader of my blog would make it an interesting experience to review it. It was got a comically unfavourable review in one of the Irish broadsheets (though not the one Greg writes for): see here.

  32. amberruth said,

    Hello, Yes please and thank you.

  33. Andrew said,

    Throw me in the hat for that one too, I’ll review it on mine and chip in over here too.

  34. annie said,

    i need some ferocity, sign me up!

  35. deucekindred said,

    Sign me up please :)


  36. Sasha said,

    Please enter me in the draw. I’ve read your review — and scratched my head at that long comment someone left, about the book cover. If I win this, I’ll definitely review this over at the blog.


  37. Patrick said,

    Marmite is an abomination, but the book sounds lovely. Please add me to the list. I’ll happily review it over at The Literate Man.

  38. JamJelly said,

    Marmite? No thanks, I don’t do weird foods like that. But I’d surely love to turn off the radio and give Greg’s work a read!

  39. Mark said,

    Always on the look out for a good read. Sign me up.

  40. JRSM said,

    Please sign me up. And I have no opinions on Marmite.

  41. Linda said,

    I feel a personal review of this book is the only sensible solution.
    Please add me to the long list of contestants for this book draw.

    (And I would be willing to review the marmite as well if a sample is included)

  42. Richard said,

    I’d be quite interested. It sounded promising from the review.

    I quite like Marmite too.

  43. Sheila said,

    Sounds like an interesting read—please enter me to win!

  44. Mike said,

    I love disturbing books! Please sign me up, thanks.

  45. Kevin Breathnach said,

    Sign me up, too.

  46. Pavli said,

    Sounds nice, I´m in!

  47. Ceri said,

    Hello. Please count me in, the book sounds compelling and whether I love it or hate it I promise to review it.

  48. Shane Waring said,

    I’d love a copy of that book ;-)

  49. nicknick said,

    I never win anything. Count me in.

  50. Lee Monks said,

    I also never win anything either but I already have a copy. Drat. But I will get back on here with comments when the day I read it finally comes.

  51. Kinna said,

    I’m in and thanks for the giveaway.

  52. Lisa said,

    I’m really curious about this one!

  53. […] . . Speaking of Baxter’s book, John Self offers it a great deal of thoughtful praise, and he’s giving away five copies on his blog (you can sign up for the drawing until Saturday night). . . . An interview with Tom […]

  54. Shawna said,

    I’m still holding out hope of winning one of these give away draws. Maybe this is the lucky entry….

  55. Could I enter a second entry on Shawna’s behalf? I don’t want to win for myself but I know she is now living in the wilds of Northern Saskatchewan with only the Northern Lights for entertainment. So if I can have an entry, I’d like it to be for her.

  56. quicke said,

    Thanks so much for linking through to the blog (inside books) a real honour to have you do that. Thank you

  57. David H said,

    Sounds an intriguing book; please enter me.

  58. Nick said,

    I’d also like to be part of this.
    Such controversy in the reviews is always interesting.

  59. lisa peet said,

    I’m in — looks interesting, and I’m always up for reviewing something that hasn’t got a ton of play already.

  60. Diana L. said,

    I’d also like to be included in the draw (stumbled upon it just in the nick of time!) and would be more than happy to provide a review.

  61. Clara said,

    I’d love to be added to the drawing, though I’m intrigued enough by the book that I’m going to add it to my “to-acquire” list anyway.

  62. Jason Bull said,

    I think I will like this one.

  63. maria said,

    sign me up. i would be interested in reading and analyzing it.

  64. Robin Harvie said,

    When you put it like that, and with a jacket like that (although, yes, I know), who could refuse?

  65. K Jackson said,

    Please include me in the draw!

  66. i) Hat, ring.
    ii) oh, not *glen* baxter
    iii) cover, but, a bit too will self, wouldn’t you say?
    Tiny Camels

  67. John Self said,

    Thanks for all the entries. The winners, courtesy of random.org were numbers 25, 31, 32, 50 and 60.

    (The draw was from 62 entrants as some people left comments but didn’t want to be entered.) This means the winners are:

    Máire T. Robinson
    Robin Harvie

    I’ve emailed you for your addresses, so please reply as soon as you can so that I can pass your details on to Penguin.

  68. Lee Monks said,

    Ho hum on the longlist, John…everyone is getting a little frothy on the Grauniad site for some reason. Where’s Rachman? Ah well. I’m automatically rooting for Jacobson, but would be quite happy to see Mitchell, Galgut and Levy, say, get it for other efforts.

  69. Jon Appleton said,

    Dear John,

    Please do include me in the draw.

    Many thanks


  70. John Self said,

    Too late, sorry Jon!


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