Eddie Butler’s voice has been the soundtrack to so many rip-roaring rugby moments over the years. And next week, for the first time ever during his illustrious broadcasting career, he will be commentating live at the Rugby World Cup.
In between matches, however, he will also be busy in bookshops and bars, signing copies of his latest book, Gonzo Davies, Caught in Possession, proving that Butler’s love of language has long extended well beyond the commentary box.
This gripping story is the eagerly awaited sequel to his bestselling novel The Head of Gonzo Davies and sees ex-international No. 8 Gonzo grafting, inspiring and reviving his local club and village.
But his rugby world is about to change once again, as dramatically indeed as his personal life. Taking in New Zealand, Dubai and Paris along the way, Gonzo Davies Caught in Possession is a thriller where camaraderie and brutality are constant companions.
‘Yes, it’s rugby; yes, it’s Wales; yes, it’s entertaining,’ says Ceri Wyn Jones, editor at Gomer Press, ‘but it’s also a shrewd observation of the political and commercial forces at work within the game and beyond. Ed is a master storyteller, but there is so much bubbling under the surface of the story he tells. I can’t help feeling that it’s even better than the first novel.’
Who better to write a novel with rugby at its heart than Eddie Butler, of course? A former Cambridge Blue and Pontypool No. 8 forward, he captained Wales and played for the British Lions. Since his retiring he has forged a successful career for himself as an Observer columnist, author and broadcaster.
Indeed he won a Welsh Bafta award in 2012 for his documentary Lions ’71. He is also the virtuoso of voiceovers, velvet and poetic, able to evoke sport’s drama and passion in a single stirring sentence.
Eddie Butler said: “As I was writing The Head of Gonzo Davies, I found myself rather alarmingly drawn to a certain character and allowed this person to avoid what was originally intended. Besides, it seems Gonzo is not yet quite done with his rugby. So, in Gonzo Davies, Caught in Possession there is unfinished business to resolve – and this time there must be a resolution.”
Clare Balding described The Head of Gonzo Davies as ‘a Grand Slam winning debut of a novel’, so who knows, Gonzo Davies, Caught in Possession could well be a world cup winner in the making?!
Gonzo Davies, Caught in Possession by Eddie Butler is published by Gomer Press and will be officially launched on Friday, 11 September at The Chapel in Market Street, Abergavenny.
The novel will be available from all good bookshops and online retailers or directly from the publisher Gomer Press on www.gomer.co.uk
It has been chosen as Wales Book of the Month for September 2015 by the Welsh Books Council.
Meet Eddie Butler at the following venues:
Crickhowell Literary Festival, The Dragon Inn, Crickhowell with Bookish, 7pm* www.cricklitfest.co.uk (*Sold out)
Monmouth Rugby Club with Rossiter Books, 7pm* Tickets £5 from www.rossiterbooks.co.uk
Penarth Book Festival with Carolyn Hitt & Griffin Books, 7.30pm * Tickets £6 from: www.penarthbookfestival.org.uk
WHSmith Cwmbran, 11am
Victoria Bookshop, Haverfordwest, 11am
WHSmith Llanelli, 3pm
Pontypool Indoor Market, 11am
Waterstones, Abergavenny, 10.30am
Waterstones, Cardiff, 2.30pm