Longhand by Andy Hamilton

I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for the latest book by Andy Hamilton, published yesterday by Unbound, as part of the blog tour organised by Anne of Random Things Tours. Thank you to Unbound for a copy of the book, my views are my own and not influenced by the gift.


Malcolm George Galbraith is a large, somewhat clumsy, Scotsman. He’s being forced to leave the woman he loves behind and needs to explain why.

So he leaves her a handwritten note on the kitchen table (well, more a 300-page letter than a note). In it, Malcolm decides to start from the beginning and tell the whole story of his long life, something he’s never dared do before.

Because Malcolm isn’t what he seems: he’s had other names and lived in other places. A lot of other places. As it gathers pace, Malcolm’s story combines tragedy, comedy, mystery, a touch of leprosy, several murders, a massacre, a ritual sacrifice, an insane tyrant, two great romances, a landslide, a fire, and a talking fish.

• The new novel from comedy legend Andy Hamilton, whose writing credits include Outnumbered and Drop the Dead Donkey

  • Longhand reimagines the life of immortal Greek hero Heracles, who is currently residing in contemporary Scotland with his girlfriend Bess
  • Written entirely in Andy’s own longhand, complete with crossings out and edits

My thoughts:

Having enjoyed watching Outnumbered and Drop the Dead Donkey, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read and review Andy Hamilton’s latest book. I loved the fact that when I opened the book, that the majority of it was handwritten by Andy Hamilton – such a unique idea in 2020.

As the global pandemic continued to dominate world news, this was the perfect book to escape into. The letter from Malcom to Bess, was a love letter to say farewell to Bess, who had been in one of his many lives, and to tell his story, from discovering he is a demi-god through to how he ended up living in Scotland.

I loved the storytelling, the humour, the reflections on past mistakes and the conversations with Zeus. Having enjoyed reading books by Rick Riordan, and having watched Doctor Who for many years, the whole story appealed to me. The reader is on a roller coaster journey following the boy through his exceptionally long life journey, as he enjoys triumphs and suffers tragedy.

The book encouraged me to think about historical events, family relationships, the need for people to believe in a god/religion. I have to be honest and say that I would probably not have discovered this book if it hadn’t been for the blog tour, and then I would have missed out on one of my favourite reads of 2020.

Author Bio:

Andy Hamilton is a comedy writer, performer and director. He regularly appears on the BBC TV panel shows Have I Got News for You and on Radio 4’s News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. His television writing credits include Outnumbered, Drop the Dead Donkey, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Trevor’s World of Sport, Ballot Monkeys, Power Monkeys and many others. He also co- created the movie What We Did On Our Holiday. For twenty years he has played Satan in the Radio 4 comedy Old Harry’s Game, which he also writes.


By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum. Adopter of dogs.


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