Archive for Penguin Books

The Times, Penguin Books and Mr Toppit

Posted in Books with tags , , , on February 5, 2009 by mrtoppit

Mr ToppitThe Times, 5th February, 2009

A few weeks ago, in the run up to Penguin’s publication of Mr Toppit, I posited the question “what would Arthur make of all this?”. Now, as then, we will never know, but while the cruel scythe of Death silenced Arthur’s tongue all those years ago, his surviving family have risen from anonymity and found full voice in the form of a Public Announcement in today’s Times.

Having now finished reading Charles Elton’s Mr Toppit, I can certainly see why it has touched a nerve. Perhaps it is a little too close to the bone. It’s an extraordinary read, and yes, of course it exaggerates the truth a little, but in time I believe that the Haymans will come round to the fact that Charles and Penguin have done quite a service in preserving the Hayseed legacy.

Have you read it yet? What do you think?

White Witch Scarier Than Mr Toppit?

Posted in Press with tags , , , , on January 20, 2009 by mrtoppit

Telegraph Article
Upon hearing of Penguin’s publication of Charles Elton’s Mr Toppit, I was struck by a gamut of emotions. Surprise, fear, anger, intrigue, hunger. Upon reading it (I am now almost half way through the copy kindly sent to me – a full review will follow, but I must say I am rather enjoying it) I was deeply moved to see the world of Arthur, his family and his creations brought vividly back to life.

Mr Elton might just succeed in doing today what Laurie Clow achieved all those years ago across the Atlantic: breathe fresh life into the dormant majesty of The Hayseed Chronicles.

The signs of success are already apparent. The Telegraph ran a story this weekend about the scariest villains from fiction past and present. The White Witch sealed the top spot, but the report claims that “Mr Toppit…originally in The Hayseed Chronicles…narrowly failed to make the top ten”.

In publicising Mr Toppit, Penguin cannot help but introduce a new legion of fans to The Hayseed Chronicles as more and more people will see the name of Arthur Hayman and his creations, back where they belong, amongst the well-kerned type of the forth estate.

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And out of the Darkwood Mr Toppit Comes

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , on January 13, 2009 by mrtoppit

This package from Penguin arrived today…

Package from Penguin

…complete with a message from the helpful gentleman in publicity

Message from Joe

…and a copy of Mr Toppit by Charles Elton.

Mr Toppit - Front Cover

They have reproduced the image from the boxset on the inside;  how did they managed to clear this with the Hayman Estate?!

Mr Toppit - Inside Front Cover

I wonder what Arthur would make of all this? I will get reading at once.

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Mr Toppit

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , on January 7, 2009 by mrtoppit

Mr Toppit

Thanks to Steve’s comments earlier today it has come to my attention that Penguin Books are planning to publish Mr Toppit, a novelisation of Hayseed phenomenon, in February of this year. After also receiving the following email from a fellow Hayseed fan, I decided to look into this a bit further.
 
I am awaiting with some trepidation Penguin’s publication of Mr Toppit which purports to tell the story of the creation of the Hayseed Chronicles and the aftermath of Arthur Hayman’s death. The author is apparently some TV producer called Charles Elton who works for ITV. Not a good sign. He has produced TV versions of classic children’s’ books like The Railway Children. How could anyone remake the classic film? This doesn’t bode well.
 
The National and Local press are a little more optimistic than our friend here, with the Observer,  Daily Express , and thelondonpaper, claiming it to be a potential highlight of the literary year.
 
To rectify my ignorance, I telephoned the Penguin Press Office, and spoke to reasonably helpful gentleman called Joe. Even after outlining my credentials and expertise on the subject he seemed slightly apprehensive to divulge too much, but he did agree to send me an advanced reading copy to review on the blog. I will keep you posted.

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