THE BOOKSELLER Book of the Month for January 2019
"Sensitive readers may have to pause between chapters to recover their equilibrium, and every reader will end the book astonished that she’s still alive. Uncategorisable, unignorable and unique, this is already one of my books of the year." Marcus Berkmann
"...an unexpected and unusual treat: a funny and clever nonfiction stories that feels like a breath of fresh air..."
Ever been talked into buying a camel? Or become a burglar by mistake? Or accidentally drugged a friend on a blind date?
Keggie Carew has an unerring instinct for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, of putting her foot in it, and making a hash of things. From the repercussions of a missing purse, to boiling a frog, or the holiday when the last thing you could possibly imagine happens, Keggie has been there. She also has an enviable talent for recycling awfulness and turning embarrassment into gold. In prose that will make you laugh, wince and curl your toes, Keggie Carew shares her most embarrassing, awkward, uncomfortable, funny, true, terrible, and all-too-relatable moments.
You will be glad none of it happened to you.
PRAISE FOR QUICKSAND TALES
"This is laugh-out-loud, delightful comedic writing. It captures a mood of escapism and nostalgia that I found incredibly reassuring and cheering. More Keggie, please." VIV GROSKOP, OBSERVER
"Carew is a natural storyteller, and each of these tales works like a perfectly paced standup routine, punctuated by some gorgeous phrase-making . . . It's hard to make writing look this easy, but Carew's stories have the knack of easing the reader happily from page to page, leaving us squirming at the situations she finds herself in while secretly hoping that she won't escape them just yet" GUARDIAN
"Sensitive readers may have to pause between chapters to recover their equilibrium, and every reader will end the book astonished that she’s still alive. Uncategorisable, unignorable and unique, this is already one of my books of the year." MARCUS BERKMANN, MAIL ONLINE
“Keggie Carew really has a knack for stepping in it, boy. But the further you wade in with her, the more hilarious, and poignant, it all becomes. Quicksand Tales is a tonic for the tortured and cursed.” JOSHUA FERRIS
"I don’t know how she does it but Keggie has the ability to take the sideways moments in life, and paint them with such humour and folly and awfulness I go from snort-out loud laughing to wonder. Here is a collection of tales of mistakes that verge from terrifying (meeting the psychopath Animal in the middle of a deserted forest) to everyday (the murderous hazards of gardening) but told once again with Keggie’s rare blend of wit, warmth, zany fizz and plain honesty. I meant to savour the tales slowly, one at a time, and ended up wolfing them." RACHEL JOYCE
"Quicksand Tales is animated by Carew's gift for storytelling: a lightness of touch is coupled with a revelry in caricature ... Quicksand Tales is vibrant and entertaining, sure to inspire a healthy dose of schadenfreude in its readers." IRISH TIMES
"Hilariously, toe-curlingly relatable . . . a joyous burst of authenticity" MAIL ON SUNDAY
"Carew excel[s] at pinpointing the disjointedness between the life we boast about and the messy lives we actually end up living" SUNDAY TIMES
"Wonderfully written ... very funny and full of life." ROGER DALTREY
"...written by they author of the sublime, Costa-winning Dadland … an epic series of hilarious misadventures from a life characterised by her unerring instinct for being in the wrong place at the wrong time…" THE BOOKSELLER
"Carew has a beautiful evocative style." EVENING STANDARD
"Keggie is chaos in motion, yearning for everything to go right and, luckily for us, it rarely does. She has a wonderfully sharp eye for character, draws every scene so vividly and it’s funny, witty. Never arch. Funny. And awful." ROBERT BATHURST
"Keggie's honesty and empathy shine through; as a reader, you'll whip through these tales alternately laughing and wincing in recognition." TOM BROMLEY
“Keggie Carew blazes a trail for the more earthbound and hapless among us in her brilliant and hilarious Quicksand Tales…She reveals her unerring instinct for making a toe-curling hash of things, from being persuaded to buy a camel to a wincingly awful birthday.” SUNDAY EXPRESS
“If the January blues have you pining for far-flung adventures, these chatty, candid personal essays will set you straight…Carew’s response is always hilariously, toe-curlingly relatable….Wish you were here? Not likely, but Carew’s postcards from home and abroad are a joyous burst of authenticity” MAIL ON SUNDAY
"Keggie Carew…returns with Quicksand Tales, an entertaining collection of stories from her fascinating – if somewhat misadventurous – life." GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
"These stories are informed by the same wit, sharpness of perception and intelligence which characterised her bestselling biography…[Keggie] has style and panache and her stories are entertainingly told." DAILY EXPRESS
"Reading the anecdotes of Quicksand Tales, a compendium of her most embarrassing moments, some might suggest that she’d got off lightly, but it’s worth bearing in mind that these are only the ones she can bring herself to own up to. Plus, it’s got a lot to do with the way she tells ‘em…Carew has a knack for spinning an amusing yarn, and this account of her life’s various disasters can be painfully funny, thanks largely to her self-awareness and willingness to show up her own absurdity as much as other people’s." THE HERALD