Thursday, 29 April 2021

Rollercoaster by James Essinger BLOG TOUR @JamesEssinger @TheConradPress @RandomTTours #BookExtract


Wacky, outrageous, imaginative, bonkers, Rollercoaster is also really rather fun. Written by James Essinger in 1979 when he was a virgin, it tells the story of how warm-hearted would-be hippie Rod Coaster teams up with illustrious senior policeman Chief Superintendent Pickling Fox-Foetus, who has never made a mistake, to try to thwart a terrorist attack on one of West Germany’s most pretentious hotels. After many adventures, Rod finally finds true love with a charismatic Finnish beauty. ‘Rollercoaster’ is a book you won’t easily forget, even if you’re no longer a virgin.

Rollercoaster by James Essinger was published on 8 February 2021 by The Conrad Press. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.

Extract from Rollercoaster by James Essinger

The white-haired man 

Late June, 1979. Marseilles. Early on a Friday morning. Already a thick haze of sun, dust and sweat swirling up, climbing above the Canabière. Noise and haste along the 

streets; cars leaping and jumping in starts to the traffic signs. Over everything, the sun, still lying behind cluttered roofs, ready to sweep into the deepening blue sky. On the left of the great city artery, a shanty town of Africans - men and women, boys and girls on the make - shoe-shiners, cripples, cured but maimed lepers and children running for a bite of bread and a bowl of coffee. On the right, the native French side, weary shopkeepers unrolling window blinds, motorbikes slaloming around lorries, vans and cars. Crates slung in the road, fruit baskets flicking rotting tomatoes. 

More dust. The sun rising still. Another summer morn- ing. Far out to sea the rich of the bay breakfast on cereals, chocolate and coffee aboard yachts that sway like slow-mo- tion galleons, guided by the latest navigational equipment, shipped direct from America by one of the hundreds of little firms that scavenge for trade by the walls and seashells of the docks and ports. 

In the midst of such life, a man walked quickly towards a tiny baker’s shop. He had made the journey often. He was buying rolls and butter for the first meal of the day. He might have been French, but his white hair, white skin, and white beard suggested something else. Arriving at the shop, he picked up a small package from the counter, and put a few coins in the package’s place. 

The white-haired man was a regular customer. 

Not bothering to check inside the package, he turned from the counter towards the door. All in a quick motion. It was a promising to be a hot day and there was much to do. 


He stopped, turned round to the counter. The woman there, fat and old as the great ovens at the back of the shop, averted her eyes from his face, in a hurry. 

‘Yes?’ The white-haired man was annoyed now.

‘Monsieur,’ again, but she did not look at him. ‘The telephone.’ 

‘For me? Now?’ 

‘Oui, monsieur.’ There was a guilty tone in her voice. An old customer, and being disturbed with jokes of this kind on a day when there was so much to do. 

‘There must be a mistake. You are perfectly aware I have no calls expected here.’ 

‘Monsieur, the telephone.’ Repeated. 

The door was two metres away. Best thing to simply walk out furiously, and vow never to buy bread from that place again. There were many shops in the quarter that sold the few rolls and croissants he needed each day. That and coffee. But a telephone, ringing for him. Perhaps news, news from the past. Perhaps. 

James Essinger was born in Leicester in 1957 and has lived in Canterbury in Kent since 1986. 

He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys, Leicester, and at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read English Language and Literature. 
Since 1988, James has been a professional writer. 
His other works include the novel ‘The Ada Lovelace Project’, the libretto and lyrics for ‘Ada’s Algorithm - the Ada Lovelace musical’, the Young Adult novel ‘The Lost City of Cantia’, and, with Jovanka Houska, ‘The Mating Game’. a widely-praised novel set in the world of chess. 

No comments:

Post a Comment