Monday, 1 August 2011


I'm not going to go all Oscar Night on you, dear readers but KING CROW by Michael Stewart has just been praised by leading Literary editor Claire Armitstead, who runs the books section at The Guardian.

'King Crow reminds me of Kes, both in its use of birds and in its setting.' Praise indeed. Now as KES is one of my all time favourite books, I'm loathe to make such comparisons because it just doesn't feel right. Perhaps in time we can put them side by side but let's just see what longevity KING CROW has. I'm convinced it will, but then we published it. As we all say at Bluemoose, great stories travel. And look how far. All the way to London.


  1. Delighted to have discovered Blue Moose through the various Guardian bunfights this year, and best of luck with King Crow, which looks like exactly the sort of book we loveat eight cuts - in Not the Booker - hope to have The Dead Beat sitting alongside it on the shortlist.
    It's been a breath of fresh air to get our books noticed,albeit rather galling that we dutifully sent off a pre-release copy of The Zoom Zoom to the appropriate desks and were met with complete silence, only for people to realise when they "had" to read it that it's really good. Of the many frustrations with the industry around publishing (the one you outline in your post above about class is another) that's one of the most frustrating - all we ask is that people open the cover - we're confident when they do they'll love what they find.

    And talking of non-middle class books, are you familiar with Philistine Press - some of the novellas (and poetry) they publish are exceptional?

    Love to do a piece about you on our "we recommend" bblog slots if you're interested. Drop me a line (
    Very best

  2. I think the comparison between 'King Crow' and 'Kes' is trite and superficial. Yes, they are both stories about a Northern boy who has some connection with birds, hates school, steals books, and comes from a dysfunctional family. To me the differences are more significant. There are several of these, of which the most obvious is that the relationship between Paul and Ashley has no analogue in 'Kes'. Billy in 'Kes' is sub-literate and not articulate. The reader learns more by observing him than by listening to him. Paul in 'King Crow' speaks to you. He is constantly observing and his utterances are sharp and clear.


What do you think?