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The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer

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Tod Prince has spent ten years trying to write the life of Rex Dedman, a minor 1930s poet, communist, womaniser and drinker. Tod’s publisher - who knew Dedman in the Spanish Civil War - wants to settle some old scores. As the book nears completion, Tod is visited by Dedman’s ghost, demanding major revisions to his life. Meanwhile, Dedman’s dead wife has some ideas of her own about the book...

The Ghost Writer is a literary detective-story featuring a cast of assorted ghosts, spies, poets, bad drivers and hopeless lovers. It’s a verse-novel in Pushkin sonnets. And, it is based on Hamlet.

The Pushkin sonnet: easy to read and insanely difficult to write, designed for intellectual slapstick, mixing Low Comedy with High Seriousness, often hilarious, always compelling…

The dedication of a novel
Should be a place to shout and sing,
And yet I feel I ought to grovel
For asking you to read the thing.
The Pushkin Stanza – if I’m candid –
Is hard work, awkward, heavy-handed
Unsuited to the English tongue,
The lines too short, the rhymes too long…

Andy Croft's books include Red Letter Days, Out of the Old Earth, A Weapon in the Struggle, Selected Poems of Randall Swingler, Comrade Heart: A Life of Randall Swingler and thirty-four books for teenagers, mostly about football. He has edited several poetry anthologies including Red Sky at Night (with Adrian Mitchell), North by North East (with Cynthia Fuller), Not Just a Game (with Sue Dymoke) and Speaking English.

He has published six books of poetry including Just as Blue, Great North and Comrade Laughter. He writes a poetry column in the Morning Star and runs Smokestack Books. He lives in Middlesbrough