'Ingenious and learned.' The Daily Mail

Meet Arnold Trevellyan - charismatic, exuberant and somewhat strange. His love of mushrooms is matched only by a passion for Flora, his wife of twelve years.

One day, while searching for mushrooms, Arnold makes a wondrous discovery that will turn his world upside down. 

He abandons Flora and heads to the South Pacific where he finds himself marrying the queen of the remote tropical island.

But all is not as it seems in Arnold’s idyllic realm. In a series of cassettes to his oldest friend, he reveals that he is trapped in an international conspiracy in which mushrooms hold the key to life or death.

According to Arnold is for all women who think they know their partner and all men who think the grass is greener elsewhere. 

To buy According to Arnold, click here.



The Opening Page.

I’m missing you, of course. And I’m missing Philippa. But then again, I’m standing by the window and there’s this strip of brilliant powder and a shimmering slab of greeny-blue. Beach and lagoon. And the water's flashing and twinkling in the sunlight like thousands of dancing, jiggling specks of glinting silver and I can't look at it for long because the glare's so bright it's hurting my eyes. And there are two white tufted tropicbirds hovering in the thermals and just waiting, waiting, waiting to swoop down into the water and - - ah, there they go right now - down-they-go-down-they-go - - S-S-SPLASH! And bull's-eye! That's what I call fishing. They've each got one in their great pointed beaks. 

And beyond, in the distance, I can see this foaming white water that’s churning and roaring. It’s the reef at the outer edge of the lagoon, where they catch all the biggest pomfrets and triggerfish. And all you hear is this rolling, never-ending crash of waves on the reef - crash-sh-sh-sh, crash-sh-sh-sh, crash-sh-sh-sh. It’s there when you go to sleep. It’s there when you wake up. At times you don’t even hear it. But then – when you least expect it – it suddenly looms back into your consciousness: crash-sh-sh-sh, crash-sh-sh-sh, crash-sh-sh-sh. 

You must have both been wondering about me. You must have been wondering how I’m getting on. And I’ve been meaning to be in contact for the last three weeks, but it’s all been so frantic I’ve hardly had a minute to myself. And besides, I’ve been feeling so inside out it’s as if my brain’s working little more than a two-day week.

I’m sure you’d prefer me to scribble the whole thing down on paper but it’s so humid here and the air is so sodden with water that paper turns into a soggy face flannel before you reach the end of the page. And that’s why, Peter, I’ve decided to record the whole saga onto my tape machine. I’ll send it to you in instalments. On cassettes. I rather like the thought of you sitting there at home and listening to a story that’s going to stretch your eyes.  

Reviews.


'According to Arnold is as ingenious and learned as you'd expect of Giles Milton - better known as a somewhat maverick historian - and it has both that excellent big idea of the regal conspiracy at its heart and a superbly lurking theme about grass-is-greener male sexual yearning waiting in the wings. It's also well written with a very readable light tone and many an inventive image.' Harrie Ritchie, The Daily Mail.

'A highly entertaining fantasy, Milton's novel is perfect for anyone obsessed with conspiracy theories.' Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday.

'According to Arnold is probably one of the most weird and wonderful books I have come across in recent times. A novel centred around mushrooms seemed a little odd and I thought how on earth is Giles Milton going to get mileage out of this? However, their part in the novel is fascinating, intriguing and highly plausible... 

'As Arnold tells his tales of mushrooms, his new life on the lush and verdant island of Tuva, and the conspiracy surrounding him you can tell Milton has a major interest in history... Arnold’s story itself is wonderfully surreal in places, and is extremely absorbing and amusing to read... 

'In case you hadn’t guessed by now I really enjoyed this book. As well as the brilliant and at times surreal plot, Milton’s writing is first class, clever and witty, and he clearly has a very vivid imagination. He keeps his cast of characters to a minimum, which allows the wonderfully elaborate plot to take centre stage, as it clearly should in this unique, funny and very fulfilling read. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.' Katie Pullen, The Bookbag.

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