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About The Book



‘Funny, clever and sweet’– Sunday Times

‘The much loved comic proves adept at noirish fiction in a debut whose surrealist humour sets it apart’ – Observer

My name is Gary. I’m a thirty-year-old legal assistant with a firm of solicitors in London. To describe me as anonymous would be unfair but to notice me other than in passing would be a rarity. I did make a good connection with a girl, but that blew up in my face and smacked my arse with a fish slice.

Gary Thorn goes for a pint with a work acquaintance called Brendan. When Brendan leaves early, Gary meets a girl in the pub. He doesn’t catch her name, but falls for her anyway. When she suddenly disappears without saying goodbye, all Gary has to remember her by is the book she was reading: The Satsuma Complex. But when Brendan goes missing, Gary needs to track down the girl he now calls Satsuma to get some answers.

And so begins Gary’s quest, through the estates and pie shops of South London, to finally bring some love and excitement into his unremarkable life…

A page-turning story with a cast of unforgettable characters, The Satsuma Complex is the brilliantly funny smash hit first novel by bestselling author and comedian Bob Mortimer.

About The Author

Bob Mortimer was born in Middlesbrough in 1959, the youngest of four sons. He trained as a solicitor before a chance encounter with Vic Reeves in the 1980s led to a successful career in comedy as half of duo Reeves and Mortimer. His screen credits include Shooting Stars, Big Night Out, Catterick and most recently BBC2's Gone Fishing. His memoir, And Away…, published in 2021. It became the bestselling memoir of the year, was named Times and Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for Non-fiction Book of the Year at the National Book Awards. The Satsuma Complex is his first novel. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @RealBobMortimer.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery UK (May 25, 2023)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398521230

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Raves and Reviews

'The much loved comic proves adept at noirish fiction in a debut whose surrealist humour sets it apart ... Off the wall doesn’t quite cover it ... Fans of Mortimer’s surrealist turns on Would I Lie to You? or his internet sketch show Train Guy won’t be disappointed. Nor will crime fiction devotees, if only they can get over the talking squirrels.'

– Observer

'Funny, clever and sweet – and the "Richard Osman effect" will make it a bestseller ... The good news is that there is a lot of Mortimer’s ridiculousness in all this. Gary loves a regular chat with a squirrel in his playground, and his favourite chat-up lines include, “Have you ever needed to use a tourniquet in your work environment?”'

– Sunday Times

'As in his television work, Mortimer conveys an infectious joy in his own oddity, and, as his recent bestselling memoir And Away… showed, there is a sweetness to his worldview that makes his writing gently poignant. And although I can’t imagine non-fans emerging anything other than baffled, those who are used to his brand of weirdness will find that the book works well as a thriller, too. Like Spike Milligan, the only vintage comic whose fiction is still read, Mortimer has managed to use a novel as a vehicle for his distinctive comedic voice.'

– The Telegraph

'An offbeat romantic thriller, as if Salvador Dali scripted a Hitchcock film... It's as a comic novel that the book is most memorable. It contains the funniest description of somebody having a bath that you're ever likely to read… But there is genuine tension at times, and I came to believe in and care about the central characters. More than just a tour of the wonderfully weird mind of Mortimer, it works - for the most part - as a novel.'

– Daily Express

'I’m delighted to report it’s as hilarious and surreal as you would expect… stuffed with laugh-out-loud moments.'

– Daily Mail

'With Mortimer’s self-mocking wit, plus an audio version read by Sally Phillips, alongside the man himself, what’s not to love?'

– Saga, Book of the Month

'The first novel from comedy legend Bob Mortimer is as funny, idiosyncratic and full of squirrels as you’d expect. It’s also really rather lovely.'

– HEAT, Book of the Month

'Mr Clown Shoes. Lassoo the dog. The corn cob dongle. Just three hilarious elements of The Satsuma Complex – a surprisingly serious debut novel from Would I Lie To You? and Gone Fishing comedy star Bob Mortimer. The stellar success of his surreal and semi-truthful autobiography And Away… caused clamour for a fully fictional follow-up, and Mortimer fulfils the brief with a remarkably dark and gritty tale of sink estate murder, law and order mystery, and honey-trap romance. His distinctive tone and bizarrely British humour sing from every page, with the story swinging from side-splitting set-pieces to moments of real pathos and high drama. It’s a bit unusual, but you’ll love it.'

– Independent

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