Nominated by:

Universitätsbibliothek Bern, Switzerland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Freight Books, UK

Naw Much of a Talker

Pedro Lenz      

Translated from the original German by Donal McLaughlin

2015 Longlist

An acclaimed, award-winning comic novel about truth, lies and storytelling, with an unforgettably unreliable narrator, translated from its innovative Swiss vernacular back into the Glaswegian that was its original inspiration.

Known only as ‘the goalie’, the novel’s narrator is always taking the blame. He’s just been released from jail, having kept schtum during a drugs bust. The goalie is a sucker for a good story, he lives and breathes them, is forever telling stories to himself and anyone who’ll listen.

He returns to his hometown broke, falling in love with Regi, a barmaid. On a trip together to Spain Regi realises that this obsession with storytelling has its downsides, the goalie all too ready to believe the yarns his so-called friends spin.

Naw Much of a Talker is a charming, hilarious tour through the goalie’s anecdotes. Storytelling is his way of avoiding problems and conflict, his crowning achievement and tragic flaw. Regi concludes that it isn’t a woman the goalie needs, but an audience.

Inspired by a six month residency in Glasgow, Pedro Lenz harnesses his considerable powers as a performer and oral storyteller in this powerful and unforgettable celebration of the rhythms and musicality of the spoken word.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Pedro Lenz was born in 1965 in Langenthal and now lives in Olten, Switzerland. He studied Spanish literature at the University of Bern and has worked as a freelance writer for various newspapers and magazines since 2001. Lenz is very active on the Spoken Word scene, is one half of the performance duo Hohe Stirnen and a member of the spoken-word artists group Bern ist überall. He has won numerous awards and poetry slams, was nominated for the Swiss Book Prize and won the Berne Literature Prize in 2010 for Naw Much of a Talker, originally published as Der Goalie Bin Ig, which is also to be made into a film.

Librarian’s Comments

A comic yet melancholic novel about truth, lies and storytelling, with a very special, sometimes unreliable narrator, translated from its innovative Swiss vernacular into an excellently written Scots translation.

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