The Gift Maker
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More About This Title The Gift Maker
Gifts ought to be free, but they never are. They tie you to the wishes of others. To your own sad expectations. To the penitentiary of your dreams.' Late one night, Thomas Ruder receives a strange package: a small blue box. Another such item is delivered to his friend Liselotte Hauptmann. These 'gifts' will change their lives forever. In the far-off border town of Grenze, a play is to be performed at the Sheol Theatre. Reynard the impresario expects a very special audience. Thomas and Liselotte, together with their friend Johann, are drawn into Reynard's seductive web, as Daumen, the gift maker, must decide who his master really is. The Gift Maker is a story about identity, about fulfilling your dreams and becoming the person you always were ... at whatever cost.
Before becoming a writer, Mark Mayes trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He subsequently worked in theatre and television for several years, both in the UK and abroad. He has worked variously as a cleaner, care-worker and carer, salesman, barman, medical transcriptionist, warehouse worker, and administrator. Mark has published numerous stories and poems in magazines and anthologies in the UK, Eire, and Italy, and in particular has had several stories published in (or accepted for) the celebrated Unthology series (Unthank Books). His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. He has been shortlisted for literary prizes, including the prestigious Bridport Prize. In 2009, Mark graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in English (Creative Writing and Critical Practice) from Ruskin College, Oxford. Currently living in South Wales, Mark is also a musician and songwriter. Among his favorite writers are: Jean Rhys, Franz Kafka, Anton Chekhov, and Christopher Priest. The Gift Maker is his debut novel.
"This is a magical, daring book, set in a world reminiscent of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast or the Wes Anderson film Grand Budapest Hotel. Using language of marvellous distinctiveness and beauty which reveal his poetic background, Mark Mayes creates a sometimes beautiful and frequently nightmarish world where reality and folk tale morph into surrealism to disturbing effect. By turns hilarious and terrifying, wise and thought-provoking, The Gift Maker stands head and shoulders above anything I have read this year. I devoured it in two sittings, and will now start again so as to savour less breathlessly its sublime language and ideas. This sustained feat of imagination is a best-seller and likely award winner if ever I read one. Not for the faint-hearted, but brilliant." —Simon Michael, bestselling crime author