The Haunting of Westminster Abbey
In Mark Patton's "The Haunting of Westminster Abbey," you get a madcap romp through British history, metaphysics, zoology, various London landmarks.
And puns. Lots of puns.
The Haunting of Westminster Abbey is an original fiction that intelligently combines royal history, psychopathology and stories deeply rooted in popular culture.
"As a neuroscientist, I was fascinated by the way the author parts from a serious mental illness and develops an interesting and historically sound theme that, not only, explains the problem in a whimsical way and posts different ways of containing it (my favorite is “Absinthe”), but also reaches out to the most defiant questions that we all have." - Clemens Bauer
About the Story:
The foundation of Westminster Abbey rests upon what was once an island — an island that was holy to the Celts and the Romans long before the first Christian Church was built upon it in the eighth century. The church is now home to a community of dead monarchs, nobles, scientists, composers, soldiers, authors, poets and politicians buried within the Abbey. And their ghosts are all under the command of Reverend Poda-Pirudi.
As if leading the dead isn’t challenging enough for the good Reverend, he invites a hapless architect, Wallace Butterfield, to visit him at his office in the Triforium of Westminster Abbey with a promise to pay for some much-needed work.
Butterfield, who thinks it's the offer of a lifetime, believes he is finally moving up in the world - even though the meeting is scheduled at Westminster's Triforium in the middle of the night!
Unbeknownst to the architect, a coven of absinthe-drinking witches conspires to intervene in Butterfield’s strange meetings with the Reverend. They want what Butterfield has (though Butterfield doesn’t know what it is) and they are willing to do anything (kidnapping, torture, even burning him at the stake) to get it.
"Set inside Westminster Abbey, England’s enduring symbol of unity and crowned culture, a community of ghosts, whose remains rest inside the iconic building, arise at the bidding of a strange cleric." - The Author
The book is well researched and incorporates many of the legends associated with the abbey.
"It's a fun, wild, ghost story that I was sorry to see end. I really enjoyed it quite a lot. 5 out of 5 stars." - Emily, amazon
- "This read is an amazing and fascinating read!" - Amazon Customer
- "The closest comparison I can think of is "The Brentford Trilogy" by Robert Rankin, although the finale has distinct echoes of Douglas Adams." - jonxboy
The Haunting of Westminster Abbey is an excellent adventure into the bizarre world and mind of the author. Highly Recommended
About the Author:
At nineteen Mark Patton shipped aboard the Research Vessel Chain as a helmsman for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. By his mid-twenties he was flying out of Otis Air Force Base for the National Marine Fisheries Service on weekly North Atlantic Fisheries patrols. After graduating from Northeastern University, he became a roughneck for Delta Drilling in the Texas oil patch. He left Texas to become a police officer and later a head of Natural Resources on Cape Cod. Now retired, he devotes his time between the mountains of northern New Hampshire and his home on Cape Cod, where with his cellist wife, he composes music and pursues his longtime passion for writing. [MORE]
"It's fun, fun, fun in the best tradition of satire, snark and completely entertaining preposterosity." -- Ellen L. Horr
"Once I met Wallace Butterfield and entered the worlds of Reverend Poda-Pirudi at Westminster Abbey and the Women In Therapeutic Chemical Healing, I lost my ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy, separate coven from cult or recognize dream from nightmare. The story left me asking when the movie premiere is." -- Jacqueline Murray Loring, author and editor
"A richly-imagined parallel London, where the surprisingly pettish ghosts of the once-great rub up against the living, and work out old vendettas and posthumous grievances within the walls of iconic Westminster Abbey. Dinosaurs dash through S.W.1 sewers, Homo erectus shuffles across Parliament Square, and Isaac Newton uses red telephone boxes as W.S. Landor meets Salvador Dali. Astral-material mash-ups, amusing incidents and deep historical knowledge combine in an offbeat evocation of Englishness past and present." -- Derek Turner, author and editor
"As I finished the book and put it down with a very contented sigh, my first thought was “Why have we not previously heard the name Mark Patton in the realm of fiction writing?” If this is the author’s first publication, it bodes well for what may yet come. ‘The Haunting of Westminster Abbey (The Triforium)’ is a superb piece of fiction that provides the main ingredients to satisfy me: humour (I laughed aloud several times, startling my partner and my dog), a good plot, detailed research, and some very intriguing thoughts on the genesis of souls, ghosts and gods. The cast includes the ghosts of many famous and infamous characters of history – monarchs, scientists, writers and a regicide – and, in addition to ghosts, there is an all-pervading spirit: Absinthe. The main characters, however, are the hapless Wallace Butterfield and the enigmatic Reverend Poda-Pirudi. There is more to both of these than meets the eye, but I am not going to give any plot-spoilers. The author is clearly American, as evidenced in the use of language (e.g. ‘sidewalk’ instead of ‘pavement’), and, as a Briton, I feel somewhat humbled and ashamed that his encyclopaedic knowledge of Westminster Abbey and London in general puts mine entirely in the shade. The author’s biography, given at the end of this Kindle edition, indicates that ‘The Haunting of Westminster Abbey (The Triforium)’ has had a long period of gestation and maturation. I fervently hope that this brainchild will be followed by further siblings." -- Christopher A. Smith, author "Icelandic Magic: Aims, tools and techniques of the Icelandic sorcerers
"All I can say about this book is that it is "Gwell!" Witches and ghosts aside, there is a huge amount of really interesting history of Westminster Abbey, London. Oh, and word of caution, stay away from absinthe." - Jud S.
"You will undoubtedly see Westminster Abbey in a different light after reading The Haunting of Westminster Abbey which is indeed a haunting ghost story. A very well written fantasy, entwined into the incredibly interesting history of Westminster Abbey. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this bizarre, extraordinarily entertaining tale. I highly recommend. After reading this book, a visit to the Abbey next time I'm in London is definitely on the agenda." - S McDermott
"I always love a good ghost story. Mark Patton's book has lots of ghosts with personality, humor and a posthumous concern for the living. Plus, we are introduced to a new theory for the phenomenon of ghosts that is completely unexpected. I was very impressed by the research that was put into the book. The blend of historical fact and local lore made London come alive for me." - Rebecca Z
"This book was quick fun read and I’m looking forward to reading more of Patton’s work." - Deven
"I have to say that I found this book to be intriguing and fun, a blend of history, fun, and magic that Mr. Patton cunningly compiled into plausible impossibility! Fabulously written. I could not stop reading! The whole concept was insanely logical and the ending unexpected. Wonderful story, I recommend it highly =)" - Laurie Smith
"I devoured this book. Though I’m not much of a fan of fantasy or science fiction, the story grabbed me, and Mark Patton’s writing enthralled me from page one. The book provides a perfect antidote to the stress of everyday life, a delightful way to get away from the boredom of reality, and to dig into the fascinating world of "what if" and "just maybe". Patton feeds his readers a good dose of fact amid the fanciful, placing the book into the unique category of "historical fantasy", while his wit and imagination places it in the higher echelon of "hysterical fantasy". Patton is a talented writer, who has mastered the dialogue of ghosts and witches, the plot twists one could only find in an English Abbey, and the character development of mortals who have been dead for centuries. None of this is an easy task. I look forward to more surprises from this talented author. " - Verbena
"History at its finest!! Combining expert storytelling and an intense story line. I was so impressed by how much I learned, and I thought I knew history! I cannot wait to read more from this author. His way of defining moments and capturing historical significance are without peer. I am going to re-read this as I feel it deserves the attention. Definitely a must buy!!!!! I love George R. R. Martin but this was a new twist with a more cerebral approach that doesn't fail to disappoint! " - Amazon Customer
"My favorite innovation? The secret lives of ghosts. Who knew? Overstuffed yet entertaining. Like when the circus train unloads. Liked it. Buy it, you will be amused, bewildered, and maybe a bit anxious when you've read it." - Teri Frady
"Mark Patton's The Haunting of Westminster Abbey is fun and engages the reader in a wickedly clever ghost story. The story buzzes along, carrying the reader throughout Westminster Abbey and the city of London while introducing us to well-developed characters. The plotting is excellent and keeps the reader turning the pages. One nice thing about a book like this is that the reader gets to be the recipient of all the hard work the author did in researching the setting and characters. The cosmic touches that attended the ending made it very satisfying." - Mike Prelee
"Definitely an interesting and worthwhile read. The colorful and magical yarn knocks it out of the park. Highly descriptive novel with interesting characters and surroundings. Wallace Butterfield certainly keeps your attention and Westminster Abbey will never look the same again. I very much enjoyed all the twist and turns." - C. Salter
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I tend to stay away from ghost stories and suspense novels, preferring realist literary fiction to fantasy, but the characters here really caught my interest, so I kept going. The historical bits go down easily thanks to Patton's bizarre sense of humor and strong ear for dialogue, and the story moves along briskly to an exciting conclusion." - leelee
"Awesome!" - Beemer
"The ghosts of Westminster Abby rise in this delightful tale." - Christopher A. Davis
"Once I met hapless architect Wallace Butterfield and entered the fantastical worlds of Reverend Poda-Pirudi at Westminster Abbey and the Women In Therapeutic Chemical Healing, I lost my ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy, ghost from human, separate coven from cult or recognize dream from nightmare. Historically well researched, this book is fun and scary." - Amazon Customer
"A highly amusing, intriguing and historically accurate narrative of what might have been; I'm much looking forward to the sequel....:)))" - Amazon Customer
"What a read! I don’t normally leave reviews, but I will highly recommend this." - Anthony Hamilton
"Very well written. Looking forward to more!!! - Whitney
"The history and suspense in this novel kept me on the edge of my seat! A truly awesome read!! Mark Patton, I can't wait to read more of your work. You're a brilliant man!" - Amazon Customer
"Great story, fascinating method of setting up the plot, really good read for a reader who is looking for something they haven't read before. Great job, Mark!" - Steve Hodge
"...well written and keeps your attention. An enjoyable read." - Oscar
"I didn't know history could be this fun!" - C Avery
"A great read steeped in history with mystery. I highly recommend this book." - Amazon Customer
"The most fun I had reading a ghost story all year. Wallace Butterfield has a special spirit so special that the Reverend has been watching him all his life and now Wallace is almost ready for the next step on his way to becoming what he was always meant to be. Read along and find out what the spirits already know, and the witches are off their Absinthe trying to find out." - Emily Weil
"This novel by author Mark Patton is a good read for people who like gothic mysteries set in London. It is set in a modern London, but the protagonist is soon enmeshed in the past after receiving an architectural assignment for Westminster Abbey. The ghosts of the Abbey are well known historical figures. Author Patton knows his history and folklore and has created an interesting read." - Sandy
"This is a zany, wildly imaginative comic science fiction novel that left me wanting more! Fans of Doctor Who, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Monty Python and Queen Boudicca will rejoice in this lively, irreverent, yet reverent tale. Beginning with a dark and shifting vignette, it rapidly evolves into a fast-paced mystery involving the young architect Wallace Butterfield, his unborn ghost, the mysterious Reverend Poda-Pirudi, and the ghosts of Westminster Abbey. The complex, tortured, talented members of WITCH ("We have many, many illustrators and painters…"!) play a vital and dangerous role." - J. Muramoto
"This is a first for me. I seldom read any fantasy, at least not since I read "Fairy Tales" when I was a little girl. I thought that I was over that but, a long came "The Haunting of Westminster Abbey" no fairy tale this. I soon found out that it is a colorful, witty, and historical read. It is full of reality in its characters, in its history, (so very educational too) not the least bit boring. The story line is superb, and I do LOVE the ending!
"Needless to say I am hooked again on fantasy. Not little girl fantasy but, really easy to believe, could be true ghost stories. The ghosts are there but, I just can't see them. They really are there ! Who dun its ? have always been my favorites. The Triforium is full of Who dun its. The main character Wallace Butterfield is racked with fear and doubting about himself. Poor soul, but then again Wallace proves that in his life " everything is possible, yet nothing is probable or is it?" - Margaret H. Davis
"An intellectual "Ghostbusters." Laugh out loud. Sir Isaac Newton's ghost takes leave of the ghost of Charles Darwin with the line, "You have a vegetable’s soul"
"Thought provoking humor: " You need your good dreams to make you want to go to bed and some bad ones, so you don’t grow overly fond of being there."
"The author's accurately detailed description of Westminster Abbey and London had me searching the internet for further historical insight on many of the facts included in the telling of this unusual story. Fascinating and entertaining!" - Amazon Customer
"Amazing detail in history and characters. Suspenseful as well as humorous.
"Once I got into the twists and turns, I had to keep on reading. This was as much educational as it was entertaining, and the reader is brought to an unexpected conclusion. Very good storytelling." - Amazon Customer
"What do you get when you toss a mysterious cleric, a pack of noted -- and notorious -- ghosts, a coven of absinthe-guzzling, Egyptian-mysteries-worshipping, schizophrenic witches, and an utterly preposterous design commission into a cosmic centrifuge with a clueless mediocre architect and hit 'spin?'.
"It's not history, not science, not philosophy, though it's thoroughly steeped in all these and more. It's a sardonic account of hapless 'everyman' Wallace Butterfield's adventures when he ("Son - Newly Graduated - Without a Clue - Architect - Maybe") is summoned by post to meet with the Chairman of the Westminster Abbey Foundation. In an obscure office tucked away in the Abbey triforium behind a jumble of "a few abandoned and battered gargoyles" and "stacks of wooden boxes labeled Royal Wedding, State Funeral and Coronation," he is tasked by a Reverend Podi-Peruda to design a magnificent new central tower to finish the Abbey "the way it was meant to be finished."
"But, of course, Butterfield's quest is a bit more than a design project and Reverend Podi-Peruda is a bit more than the chairman of the Westminster Abbey Foundation. It's fun, fun, fun in the best tradition of satire, snark and completely entertaining preposterosity." - Ellen L. Horr
"Mark Patton has melded English history fact and legend into a bizarre fantasy. He presents the detailed results of apparently through research with an extensive knowledge of London history, especially Westminster Abbey. At least I assume that his knowledge is based on historic fact and is not part of the fantasy. I did occasionally wonder, and did a bit of "fact-checking" to satisfy my own personal agnosticism. My cursory checking found that his knowledge leans to factual history rather than fantasy and I enjoyed the story too much to question more deeply.
"I delighted in the tongue-in-cheek humor laced throughout. And I was intrigued by the authors rumination on the possible co-existence of ghosts and spirits and on the transition between spirits, living humans, ghosts and souls." – bruceelaine