Charlie Williams, Deadfolk, Dead Folk, Fags and Lager, Mangel, Serpent's Tail, Crime Fiction, Crime Novel, Novelist, UK

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"Long as I had me smokes and pop, I knew I'd be alright. Alright as I had right to hope for, anyhow..."

Royston Blake tells another tough tale from the crap town of Mangel. Still Head Doorman at Hoppers, Blake begins to notice a change in general punter behaviour. The norm of beery violence and lechery has given way to trance-like stares and nonsensical blatherings. Particularly amongst the younger age bracket, which seems to be dominant these days. Puzzled, he scratches his head and seeks solace at the bottom of a pint glass. And when Doug the shopkeeper offers him a bounty of 400 fags and 400 cans of lager to sort out his teenage daughter's undesirable boyfriend - an enigmatic outsider with a curious pull on the youth of Mangel - Blake's solace looks to be in the bag for at least a couple of weeks. But things don't quite go according to plan.

So begins Blake's journey from pillar of the Mangel community to local pariah. Can he rise above it this time? Will Nathan the barman help him out? And where has Finney got to?

BOOZE AND BURN is the second in the Mangel series. Originally published under the title FAGS AND LAGER in 2005, this latest edition came out on June 14th, 2011.

BOOZE AND BURN was shortlisted for a "Lefty" award at the 2006 Left Coast Crime convention.

BOOZE AND BURN has been translated into French, Italian and Russian.

What people said

What the author said

BOOZE AND BURN at (paperback or Kindle)

BOOZE AND BURN at (paperback or Kindle)

What they said about BOOZE AND BURN

"Charlie Williams's follow-up to the aggro-fuelled Deadfolk is bloke-lit gone bananas... Fans will not be disappointed: personally I think these books should be issued with embarrassing orange jackets and made to do menial community service in penance for their yobbery."
- Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

"Fags and Lager is seriously funny, mostly so in its view of life through the yes of a none-too-bright, permanently drunk bouncer. Anyone who's ever grown up and put up with the rude boys, growlers and thugs of a crappy, rain-soaked market town in the middle of nowhere, will no doubt fall in love with this all-too-fictional nonfiction."
- FRONT magazine

"To create a world with a genuinely dark and disturbing heart is tricky enough; to do this and be funny at the same time is nigh on impossible, but Charlie Williams pulls it off. Deadfolk was a fantastic debut and Fags and Lager is even better. Royston Blake is a truly original anti-hero, and reading his latest misadventure is like being smashed oin the funny bone by a lump hammer"
- Mark Billingham

"The phrase 'chav lit' would be a disservice to this novel - there's real depth to the characters, but anyone familiar with small town life will appreciate the pitch-black sense of humour."
- The Big Issue

"Fuckin' hilarious"
- Niall Griffiths

"A fast-paced, darkly comic tale... Williams' style of writing recalls that of Irvine Welsh, while Fags and Lager also has a touch of American Psycho about it. Royston talks lovingly about his Ford Capri and TV's Minder in the same demented way as Patrick Bateman did about Phil Colins in the Bret Easton Ellis book. Yet Williams' creation is distinctly English in its setting and its characters. Royston is a much more likeable psychopath than Bateman ever was. It was a brave decision for Williams to write a follow-up to Deadfolk. After all, how many film sequels are better than the original? But this was an unputtdownable read which I finished in just a couple of sittings."
- Tony Larner, Birmingham Sunday Mercury

"300-odd pages of squalor, f-, s- and c- words, extreme violence and drugs, the odd hint of perversity, monstrous sly humour and all with no redeeming social message whatsoever. Whilst through it all strides the probing intelligence of Royston Blake. What more could you possibly want?"
- Bob Cornwell, Tangled Web

"Once in a decade a novel comes along so mesmerising that all superlatives seem redundant: such was Charlie Williams' Deadfolk. A year later and he's back with the wondrous Royston Blake, the perfect antihero for these screwed, chaotic times. He's upped the ante, it's even better. Whereas Deadfolk was amazing, Fags and Lager is extraordinary"
- Ken Bruen

"Bodies littered Williams' brilliant, dark debut, Deadfolk, and the killing hasn't slowed any in its follow-up, Fags and Lager. Blake is the perfect antihero, engaging as well as terrifying, his delusions of hard-man grandeur fuelling fierce black comedy. Delivered in Blake's rich vernacular, Fags and Lager is yokel Tarantino. By the end it's hard to figure out just what Blake can do wrong next. Roll on Mangel book three."
- Mickey Noonan, Metro

"Williams’ greatest achievement is Blake himself, a dazzling creation of well-intentioned prejudice and overblown machismo, dripping with dramatic irony, who would rather spare the upholstery of his 2.8i Ford Capri than ferry a wounded mate to hospital"
- Jamie Woolley, BBC Collective

"Charlie Williams has this character/town/world so down, it’s virtually impossible to stop reading once you begin. He's as close to what I call the "magnificent trio" (Bruen, Sallis & Woodrell) as they come ... Fags and Lager is a five star read in a world of 4 stars, friends... over the top great stuff... very seriously"
- Charlie Stella

"One for the boys"
- The Sun

"The exaggerated darkness of place and character is very much in the tradition of the most subversive British humour. Blake’s irreverent commentary on Mangel, Doug the shopkeeper’s sausage-making outfit and the fantastically overblown and self-important reports from the Mangel Informer’s crime correspondent all lead to the kind of painful belly laugh that comes as much from fear as from humour. That the characters are unaware of just how disturbingly funny they are only makes you laugh harder. It’s like Terry Pratchett grew up, quit telling us how funny he is and started writing books for adults who know about sex and pain and the terrible things people do to one other... Smart, hip, dark and enthusiastically offensive – in the best possible way – Fags & Lager builds on the assured debut of Deadfolk to give us not only more insight into Mangel but a longer glimpse into the twisted heart of small town Britain. Mangel may appear to be west of reality, but if you look hard enough you might find it’s just up the end of your street."
- Russel D McLean, Crime Scene

"An uncomfortable and violent commentary on a dying British town, with a liberal sprinkling of wit and humane insights."
- Johannesburg Mail & Guardian

"I enjoyed every word in this book, truly original and refreshing as an ice cold brew. Charlie Williams is a gift to the fans of darkly humorous crime fiction."
- Crime Spree Magazine

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