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Long, long ago, before Twittering and Blogging and Facebooking - in fact way back in 1988 - Allen Makepeace retired from the post he had held for ten years as a Schools Inspector in south London. Prior to that he had been a comprehensive school head for thirteen years and before that... well, that's back in the mists of time.
Since his retirement Allen has written more than twenty non-fiction books on crime, disasters, the supernatural and superstitions. He has won several awards for writing including the South East Arts Prose Prize and he was a finalist in the Fenner Brockway Peace Prize for Literature. Most of his books have been traditionally published, the rest self-published. He has written two novels, 'And Such Great Names as These', winner of the NAWG Award for 'best novel', and 'Winter Hunt' and a collection of prize-winning short stories. 'Winter Hunt', a thriller set in the early nineteenth century reflects Allen's interest in the criminal history of England. This book has never appeared in traditional printed book format.
Seventy-five per cent of the profits of these two novels are to be donated to the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association.
Allen Makepeace and his wife live at Eastbourne on the south coast of England.
What reviewers said about And Such Great Names as These when issued in printed book format:
'...carried off with enviable subtlety...'
Martyn Bedford, author and reviewer for The Literary Review
'...a page-turner...I couldn't put it down...'
GJ Lee, Bexleyheath
'...a truly accomplished, evocative and well-judged novel...'
Sophie Lambert, buyer for Foyles, London
'...powerful and haunting in its joys and sorrows...'
Linda Cunliffe, Edinburgh
'...a well crafted novel...'
Southampton Library Reading Group
'...sharply etched, raw yet tender...give yourself a treat and get this book...'
Rosemary Bartholomew, St Leonards-on-Sea
'...intelligent, uncluttered prose...a little gem...don't miss it...'
Deborah Fisher, Tregolwyn Book Reviews
'...an ability to bring the period to life...'
'...packed with incident...you just lap it up...'
Steve Craggs, Northern Echo
'...totally absorbing, beautifully written...'
on Jan. 08, 2012 :
A poignant portrait of the lives of the gallant young lads (many of them far too young) who went to fight - and die - in the trenches of the Somme. Makepeace vividly evokes the English towns and villages they came from and the families they tore themselves away from. We are reminded that this was a world where the rich got richer and the poor always knew their place - and the battlefield shredded all of them. A fine addition to the literature of World War One.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 17, 2011 :
And Such Great Names As These – justifiably selected as best novel by the National Association of Writers’ Groups – gives us a tale of disparate have- and have-not families, in which the have-nots must – and do – eventually prevail. Evocative of the incomparable Howard Spring and Catherine Cookson, Allen Makepeace’s story is told principally through the eyes of a ten-year-old orphan, Joshua, and his young adoptive mother, Dolly. Despite the exquisitely recalled fog-shrouded grey tiles and wet cobbles of the northern English seaport and the appalling events on the Western Front – the novel soars into realms of moral ascendency, triumph, hope, redemption and fulfilment. A cracking good read from am impressive writer. Highly recommended.
(reviewed the day of purchase)