(To digress: obviously it disgusts me to have to write the words "Funny Prize" but that's the name the organizers have given the thing. I console myself with the thought that Roald Dahl himself would shove them out the way and correct it to "Humour Prize" with big red pen, chortling derisively to himself all the while.)
Anyway, the important thing is that the genius of the book, which I believe is Jamie's greatest work to date, is being recognized. And if Roald Dahl himself were one of the judges I have no doubt it would win. As it is, we must rely on Dirk Lloyd's talents for self-promotion and social networking. I asked Dirk for a quote and he said:
"The Roald Dahl Funny Prize? Shouldn’t that read the Dirk Lloyd Funny Prize?"So, in the bag then.
While opening Jamie's cage to throw him an extra scrap of rancid meat as a reward, it occurred to me that credit is also due to the wacky drawings of Scrawny Earth Girl (aka Freya Hartas), depicted here in the office where her father Leo and I work on our epic comic saga Mirabilis, wearing a jacket given to her by my wife Roz. Put like this, I guess it sounds like our lives are driven by the same kind of incestuous cronyism that pervades modern politics and business, only in our case without the vast wealth and the freebie honours.
I know I'm biassed, but Dark Lord really is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I was laughing out loud all the way through, and how many books can you say that about? Pick it up in the USA from October 2 at the link above, or in the UK on Amazon here.