It was written by Patrick Barrett and edited by his wife, Paula.
Check the links below:-
The book can be downloaded at Amazon.com (Shakespeare's Cuthbert by Patrick Barrett), And this http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=113379012037888&ref=ss is how to follow us on facebook!
Please find below some excerpts from the book - hope you enjoy them:
The crow tilted one wing and rode the thermals diagonally across the valley. He could see it all from here - scattered houses and a farm nestled in a fold of the earth below him. Whoever had designed the crow had been truly inspired. The way the head stuck out in front gave a panoramic view without the wings obscuring threats or danger. The colour wasn't perfect as it made formation flying at night an absolute bugger.
... Cuthbert swung his unremarkable legs over the edge of the bed. This was followed by his unremarkable body attached to his unremarkable head. Cuthbert was the living embodiment of neutral - if he stood amongst the bodies, he would probably be the first to be buried. He didn't shave, partly because he didn't need to, and partly because his reflection didn't always both to show up.
... The crow tilted its head first one way and then the next - this was to give the appearance of nature's constant hunt for food. however, this was all a theatrical performance, because as soon as the kitchen door opened, the crow would steal Cuthbert's bacon.
Today - 25th August, 2011 I have just added some more information on to our blog on Bukisa.com (look for Patrick Barrett) - I have uploaded the complete first chapter of the first book in the Cuthbert Series (Shakespeare's Cuthbert). You are welcome to have a look & see if you like it. I will be updating on twitter every time there is new information on Bukisa.com Here is the link below:
Patrick Barrett first introduces us to Cuthbert by way of the logical observations of a flying crow whose wing inadvertently hits a rake which falls sideways to undo the catch on the barn door leaving gormless Cuthbert face to face with the farm bull. Terrified, Cuthbert, amidst a flutter of chickens grabs a bucket, intending to clank it against the iron water pump in the trough with every intention of startling this determined animal. He misses, to wallop the bull on its nose. Furious the bull stamps its hoof into the bucket mulching the corn-chips which spray straight back into its face. Cuthbert grabs a red flannel shirt from the washing line shaking it at the bull then steps aside to allow it to charge straight into the gate post. Defeated, it slowly clanks its way back to the barn. This scene is so funny and brilliantly described by Barrett as it reflects the relationship the protagonist has with the animals surrounding him. Throughout the book we are treated to hilarious insights with Barrett humanising the farm animals giving logic to their thinking, sharply contrasting with Cuthbert’s woolly, bumbling mind-set. To add to this Cuthbert frequently comes up against the longstanding valley folk, each with their own idiosyncrasies leading to bizarre behaviour patterns emerging with side-splitting humour as the story unfolds.
Cuthbert, the village undertaker, inherited the family farm when his parents died, along with the necessity to continue as village impresario to the annual Shakespeare theatre production and therein lies the tale which for Cuthbert would have been predictable had the village not suddenly become invaded by newcomers taking residence in Mandrake Hall where legend has it Shakespeare was once employed as a tutor and the feeling still persists in the village that remains of his work are hidden there, thus suspicion is immediately aroused as to these newcomers’ intentions. Cuthbert, given to exploring the tunnels from his house networking beneath the village inadvertently stumbles upon an access to Mandrake Hall. He terrifies the new occupants ending up causing complete mayhem to the point they are convinced he’s some kind of a highly trained secret agent! Of course nothing could be further from the truth, his terrifying acts are the product of ill-conceived meanderings giving rise to an impressive series of actions causing events far beyond his intentional capabilities.
For those involved in amateur dramatics one feels immediate empathy is likely. For Cuthbert what can go wrong does go wrong! This is an intensely funny story which constantly deviates, as Barrett, in developing his characters offers insight into their life experiences, bombarding the reader with one humorous tale after another. We are looking at pure farce here, so intense it has taken me quite a while to read. One found this sheer, undiluted humour best taken in small doses, for it would be easy to lose track of the plot which is cleverly delivered; Barrett sometimes sinking the threads, taking the reader through every last hilarious detail all the way to the conclusion. Without doubt, Barrett is a highly intelligent, quick-witted, gifted author who,without innuendo, has the ability to drive his humour home by means of timing and succinct use of language. If pure slapstick’s your thing then I don’t think you could do better than this. Barrett attributes to his characters a refreshing naivety which is endearing and makes for a very comfortable read. I’m still laughing and therefore can highly recommend this book.
Publisher: Night Publishing 2011
Reviewer: Margaret Henderson Smith
Copyright – all rights reserved