#BlogTour: The Backstreets of Purgatory by Helen Taylor @TaylorHelen_M @Unbounders #TheBackstreetsofPurgatory

The Backstreets of Purgatory was published by Unbound Digital on 12th July 2018. My thanks to the author for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on to the blog tour. 

Finn Garvie’s life is one spectacular mess. He spends most of his time fannying around a makeshift Glasgow studio, failing to paint his degree portfolio, while his girlfriend Lizzi treats him like one of her psychology patients, and his best friend Rob is convinced that the tattoos he designs are the height of artistic achievement.
To top it all, Finn is worried that some stinking bastard is hanging around, spying on him, laughing at his cock-ups and eating his leftover curry. Fortunately, he has plenty of techniques to distract him – tackling the church hall renovations with the help of his alcoholic neighbour; pining after Kassia, the splendidly stroppy au-pair; and re-reading that book on Caravaggio, his all-time hero.
Things take a turn for the strange when he finally encounters the person who’s been bugging him, and it seems to be none other than Caravaggio himself…
Art, truth and madness come to blows in this darkly funny debut novel from a startling new talent.

My Thoughts:

I don't know where to begin with The Backstreets of Purgatory, in a good way of course. It is one of the most original books that I have read in a long, long time. Highly readable and memorable in so many ways. 

There was a certain humour to this novel that captured my interest and imagination. Set in Glasgow I learnt a lot more about the place which really came to life through the authors writing, the language at times was colourful but this only sufficed to add to the flow of the writing. 

I admit to knowing literally nothing about Art and had to google who Caravaggio was, this didn't detract from my reading of the story. So when he turns up as Finn's muse the plot takes a dramatic turn. Finn is not always likeable, however he was an entertaining character and I enjoyed finding out all about him. 

There is a lot going here, some of which went a little over my head. The writing is sharp and flowed beautifully. Although I did find it a little wordy in places, I still enjoyed reading every single page. 

What I loved most about this book was the ambition and the scope with which it was written. I have only admiration for this author and look forward to reading more from her in the future. 

Recommended to all those who fancy something a little bit bizarre and something that is definitely different, this is a book that would provoke a great discussion. 

About the Author:

Helen Taylor is a writer living in France. The Backstreets of Purgatory is her first book.
Find out more:
Twitter: @TaylorHelen_M

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.

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