Publicizing the Tortoise

There's a great scene in Lawrence of Arabia where Lawrence and Sherif Ali have entered the Ottoman city of Deraa on their own, foolishly trying to attract supporters for their Arab revolt in the midst of a Turkish stronghold.

"What are you looking for?" Sherif Ali asks.

Lawrence responds (with more than a little grandiosity): "Some way to announce myself."

To which Sherif Ali says: "Please be patient with him, God."

That's about how we feel when it comes to promotion. When you've put a lot of work into something, you want to let people know about it, but it's hard to do without sounding like an ass. And people pay a lot more attention to what other people say about you than to what you say about you, anyway. Fortunately, everyone's a critic these days, and so there are reviewers a-plenty trolling the interwebs; unfortunately, it's hard to get their attention, especially for something like a book that can't be consumed in a single sitting.

Fortunately, Kirkus Reviews has an Indie arm where you can get projects reviewed. We took a gamble on doing this with Resistance; we wanted to have something blurb-worthy on the back cover for launch, because, hey, no one wants to buy a book unless someone else thinks it's worth buying. Given our production schedule, we were a little worried about what might happen if they didn't like it--but it looks like we'll be fine. Here's the full text of their review:

Brennan’s three intertwined novellas revolve around the Nazi occupation of Prague and the assassination of Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. The first section of Brennan’s accomplished and readable novel is a lightly fictionalized “autobiography” of Czechoslovakian Gen. František Moravec. After experience on the Eastern Front during World War I, then time as a Russian prisoner of war and as one of the heads of the Czech resistance in exile, Moravec was one of the chief architects behind Operation Anthropoid, the plot to assassinate Heydrich, the brutal Czech proconsul. The second section is a minute-by-minute documentation of the operation, told through a collection of reports and memoranda. The final section is the almost stream-of-consciousness diary of Czech collaborator Karel as he sits in jail awaiting his execution. “The key to controlling the present is controlling the past ... And the best way to control the past is to tell a story about it,” says one resident of occupied Czechoslovakia, and this is certainly the case in Brennan’s triptych. Three very different prisms are implemented to bring Operation Anthropoid—and the larger experience of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia—alive for readers. The central events of the story—the plot to kill Heydrich, the assassination itself and the staggering reprisals taken by the Nazis—are approached from several different angles, heightening both the tension and the power of the narratives. Brennan’s command of facts is absolute and his ear for dialogue is pitch-perfect. The author is unafraid of making readers spend a great deal of time with some very unsavory people; Karel is particularly repellent yet mesmerizing. 

An extremely impressive debut.

So that's exciting! Definitely blurbable. And it's always nice to put a complicated and intricately-plotted work in the hands of an anonymous stranger and see that they actually get it. After all, without making connections, the whole writing and publishing thing gets kinda lonely.

Of course, we're still looking for more blurbs. So drop us a line at editors@tortoisebooks.com if you'd like a review copy!