Richard Schweid, an American journalist and writer, and the author of several fascinating books on eels, cockroaches and the supposed afterlife, among other things, said:
‘Just read your novel and I liked it a lot. Really well-written. Congrats’ (Via email, June of 2015).
And John English, a documentary film maker based in Barcelona (as is Richard) said:
‘I got my mum Snug for Christmas and that she enjoyed it so much she’s since got a copy for her niece’s birthday.
She said it was the best thing she read in a very long time!’ (Via email, 22/01/2015)
The Barcelonan publishing house Columna will bring out a Catalan translation of SNUG in September of 2016, translated by Jordi Cussà, an excellent novelist, and the translator of Chuck Palahniuk and Truman Capote, among others. Catalan being my second language, and one in which I have already published ten titles, I am very much looking forward to seeing SNUG in bookshops around Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Must get the cava out again…
The online magazine The Bookbag – which reviews dozens of books each year – has put SNUG on its top ten of best self-published books this year. (OK, so SNUG isn’t exactly self-published, but who’s quibbling?). The relevant Bookbag page is here.
Time to open a bottle of cava…
This comment, from Marta Salla, makes a total of eight for SNUG. Other recent comments – there are several – can be found in the ‘Readers’ Comments’ section of this blog.
this one is by far my favourite. I thought it was just going to be …
By Marta Salla on 19 Nov 2014
I have read some other books by Matthew Tree but, right now, this one is by far my favourite. I thought it was just going to be a pleasant reading that would keep me entertained for a while, but I was completely wrong. Although English is not my mother tongue and I had to use several times a dictionary, I think it’s a brilliant novel, I couldn’t put it down. The story kept surprising me time after time and I had a most enjoyable time reading it, although I also got upset and angry through the pages. I will be looking forward to his next novel.
The online Uk literary magazine The Bookbag had just brought out a new review of SNUG.
Snug by Matthew Tree
|Reviewer: Sue Magee
|Summary: A deceptively simple story, with unsuspected layers, which leaves you thinking about our colonial history in a way you might not have done before. Highly recommended.
||Date: March 2013
|Publisher: AK Digital
The Boy – we never do know his name – fancied Lucy something rotten, despite the fact that she was two years older than him – and that’s quite a gap when you’re only twelve. He was absolutely delighted when Lucy’s parents wanted to take Lucy and three other kids on holiday to the Isle of Wight with them, along with Lucy’s brother Simon, a teenager who was in the army. They’d rented a house in Coldwater Bay, a tiny village on the southern coast of the island. All went well, if even a little boringly, for a few days until Mrs Whitebone set off to take the children to the Needles and found the road blocked by tree trunks which had obviously been sawn for the purpose. Then it seemed that the telephone lines had been cut.
This is a three minute edit of the forty minute London presentation of SNUG, in June, 2014, with Karl Lewkowicz giving the introduction and Kadialy Kouyate playing the kora. All filming and editing has been done by Lorena Cervera.
Here’s hoping you enjoy it…
The scriptwriter Tony Owen just wrote this succinct (and flattering) description of the novel (25/07/2014, via email):
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading Snug. I found it original, clever, imaginative and affecting. At times I could hardly put the book down, so keen was I to find out what happened and I loved the twist at the end when Lucy turns out to be a chip off her father’s block.
SNUG was launched in London on June 26th, at Blackwell’s Bookshop on the Charing Cross Road (in fact, the last event ever to take place there, as they are soon to move to a smaller venue). Over fifty people turned up, the composer and lyricist Karl Lewkowicz did a great introduction, the Senegalese musician Kadialy Kouyate played fantastically well, the live readings were live readings, the trailer was screened, and the Catalan wine – or most of it – was drunk. My thanks to Karl, Kadialy, the journalist Lorena Cervera (for the filming and technical support), the scriptwriter Martin Smith (for invaluable help on the day) and Amelia from Blackwell’s, for making everything so easy. These are the first pictures of the event. (By Lorena Cervera).
‘SNUG”s London launch will take place on June 26th (2014) at Blackwell’s Booksop on the Charing Cross Road. It’s free (obviously) but Blackwell’s do ask people to book tickets (through this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/book-launch-for-snug-by-matthew-tree-tickets-11760388639?ref=estw). There’ll be live African music and readings from the novel, which will all take about half an hour or so, and there’ll be wine. Everybody is welcome, it goes without saying. Please click on the invitation to see it better (or at all).
A Catalan reader, Susana Aballanet, who enjoys an extraordinary command of English, had this to say about SNUG (20/04/2014, via email):
If I had to define your novel in a few adjectives, I would say SNUG is intense, catchy, engaged and stylistically risky and ambitious. Let me explain. Intense: the plot gradually unfolds an exceptional but believable situation in which the characters are put on the ropes. Catchy: throughout its 441 pages, there isn’t a dull moment, any part the reader could do without, and you always keep the reader’s attention. Engaged: racism and especially the British (and the first world, by extension) disregard of the effects of colonialism, with its still pervading prejudices, drive the novel and you make your point through the protest tone the novel adopts. Stylistically risky and ambitious: you made a bold bet by experimenting with the narrative voice. The multiplicity of narrators provides a detached point of view, and it is a good way to approach the complexity of the issues of racism and colonialism you deal with, without being pretentious.