The King of Spain

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Featured on iTunes list of ‘New and Noteworthy’ novels

When unworldly 22-year-old Sam is offered the chance to swap life in his regulation bungalow for a job at a countryside retirement home, he drops everything and heads to the rolling fields of Sussex. But things at the eerie Edge Hill are far from what he imagined.

The residents are easily over 100 years old, but due to rigorous cosmetic upkeep they look like they are in their twenties. The strange ‘handlers’ who work in the facility seem to have everything under control – until a geriatric stampede sets off a mind-blowing sequence of events that threatens to alter his life for ever.

In this sensational debut novel set in the not-too-distant future, Robert Ford has created a universe of his own in order to brilliantly illuminate the one – and the age – we all share…



A wheeze and creep and timid clatter filled the otherwise silent bedroom as the various electronic devices ran their separate, habitual tasks. Sam lay on his back in the gloom and blinked his large blue eyes, happy to let the darkness wash over him in gradual shifting waves of purest black and dull, streaked silver.



A star is born! I’m still reading, but Robert Ford’s stunning dystopic novel seems to me to sit right up there with Orwell’s 1984, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Huxley’s Brave New World.

It’s packed with ingenious wit, derisive logic and beautiful turns of phrase on every page. From what I’ve seen so far, The King Of Spain is nothing short of a tour de force.” 5★

I must admit that I’m not an avid reader, however on being sent a recommendation from a friend to buy this I was completely hooked. Considering this is a debut novel, the author seemed in complete control and was able to captivate my interest with aplomb. Its got the lot, strong character definition with a rollercoaster story line – I can’t wait for the next instalment from this talented writer.” 5★

So this is our future, huh? A grotesque “old” – and I use the word advisedly – people’s home in a dystopian landscape of Home Counties bungalows. By turns funny (mostly) touching (often) and whimsical (quite enough, thank you), like all the best stories of this genre, The King of Spain succeeds because it strikes a persuasive chord of there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-we with the reader – it could just happen like this. Throw in a cinematic sense of location (McCarthy & Stone meets Cuckoo’s Nest meets Terry Gilliam), a well-assembled cast of characters (with the King of Spain himself a shoo-in for Best Scenery-eating), and a story-line that picks us up and sweeps us along for the ride, and it should come as no surprise when the notes at the end of the book reveal that the author is a film editor and screenplay writer. Indeed, the ending in particular struck me as something that would work even better in the movie than it does in the book. I bet they’re already falling over themselves in Lalaland to option this baby. But don’t let that stop you clicking on “buy” right now – because it’s a great read!” 5★



Robert Ford talks about his debut novel and the competition which landed him a publishing contract:






Author’s photograph by Louise Rose Photography



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