Forbidden Line


Out now!

“What grips at once is Stanbridge's beautiful, stately, eccentric and richly rewarding prose. He never lets up, never falters…breathtaking, magisterial, uniquely demented and hilarious - a lavish comic masterpiece." 
David Collard
“Everyone needs to sit up and take notice of this, which is Don Quixote on acid. It leaves the doughy train of contemporary realist fiction following way behind.” 
Giles Foden
“Forbidden Line is a work of enormous scope and ambition from a writer who combines style, wit… and a rare sense of the ridiculousness of the human condition. Incomparable.” 
Alex Pheby, Wellcome Book Prize-shortlisted author of Playthings

Forbidden Line is a challenging, dazzling intellectual achievement. It’s also a book about love and companionship; a novel simultaneously touching and hilarious. Above everything else, it’s a pleasure to read – even if it makes you feel like you’re on a careering train, with all the stops and destinations rubbed off, and no idea where you’re heading...

Forbidden Line is fat, uncompromising and gloriously eccentric. Which is as it should be – since it’s a retelling of Don Quixote combined with a recreation of the Peasant’s Revolt, a gleeful hybrid of science, pseudo-science, absurd theory and profound, ingenious philosophy.

Don and Is career around Essex and London, tilting at windmills, abusing petrol station assistants, fighting with each other and everyone around them. They are on a quest – as far as Don is concerned – to reveal the truth about history (he says there's no such thing) and to uncover the secrets of the hyperfine transition of hydrogen... But Is – like most of us – isn’t really sure what Don is talking about. And all he really wants to do is get through to the next day – and back to his family. Both of which turn into extremely tricky propositions. Don takes Is ever deeper into danger and the very structure of reality  begins to turn against them both -  as does the narrative of Forbidden Line itself.
There’s never been a book quite like Forbidden Line. Never been anything close. 


November 2016