Andy Hamilton is well known on our television screens as a director, show writer (for example outnumbered and drop the dead donkey), panellist and voice actor. However, he is not so prevalent on our bookshelves. Usually, when we hear that someone famous has decided to write a book or take up a new creative role we sigh and roll our eyes, but don’t let his accomplishments put you off! You should welcome him to your bookshelves with open arms because his new book Longhand is utterly brilliant! Unique in style and concept this book will keep you up past your bedtime wanting to read just a little more.
This book is a letter, handwritten by Malcolm to his girlfriend explaining why he is going to disappear and revealing who he was before he met her, real name and all! The letter format creates an intimate portrayal of Malcolm and opens up the other characters to our own assumptions. I won’t tell you anymore of the story as it is the enjoyment to find out who Malcolm is yourself! I will say that he has led an extremely full life including; love, war, death and danger.
Andy Hamilton has created a wonderful balance between the telling of the past and the time constraints and events of the present, keeping us enthralled with who he was and on the edge of our seats for what is about to happen, a difficult thing to do in a book with no real chapters! Admittedly the format of this book might seem off putting at first, perhaps the handwriting would be unclear and the long letter might become boring or too much without the reassuring break of chapters, but this is far from the truth! The handwritten nature lends beautifully to the book, showing us his rush, his need to explain and sometimes if you look closely showing what he crossed out before writing a sentence again. It is clever and daring and we applaud Hamilton for breaking the comfort zone of adult fonts and showing us the visual effects font and format can have on how we read!
We sincerely recommend this entertaining, unique love letter of a book to all!