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The Mule

Sex, Paris, murder, an imaginary world and an untranslatable book by David Quantick

This book is published, but you can still pledge for rewards!

The Mule cover

The Synopsis

Jacky is a translator. One night he meets a girl in a bar with a book that can't be translated. Hours later, wrongly accused of her murder, Jacky finds himself in Paris with the most annoying man in the world, seeking a mysterious catalogue of an unknown land in an unknown language – the Von Fremdenplatz Documents. Trapped, threatened, and in the company of a truly appalling family, Jacky's only escape is to discover what it means to be...The Mule.

The Excerpt

I WAS IN a bar. It doesn't matter where. It's not relevant to the story. (If there's one thing I've learned in my job, things that aren't relevant to the story have to go). The bar was pretty quiet, which suited me because I don't like to go to bars that play loud music, where everyone's shouting to get a drink and it's so dark you can't see the prices of drinks. Funny — loud and dark always go together with bars. You never see a loud, brightly-lit bar, do you? It's like not content with numbing our senses with booze, the bars want us blind and deaf as well.

Anyway, this bar was pretty much perfect so far as I was concerned. There was no music at all, the lights were OK — I could see the drinks were a reasonable price for the middle of town — and there were no hen parties or big groups of people making their own racket.

I signalled to the barman, who had his name on a badge on his shirt. "Good evening, Don", I said, smiling. "I'd like a Martini please. Vodka, and —" But he already turned away to make it. I think he didn't like me saying his name. If I had a job where I had to wear my name on a badge and people said my name, I wouldn't have a problem. If people said, "Excuse me Jacky, could you look at these pages before the weekend?" or "Hey Jacky, this is more of a technical pamphlet but we figure you can handle it," I wouldn't mind at all. Of course I'd have to pick a version of my name that I felt comfortable with, which I admit would probably not be Jacky. Jacky is what my mother called me and I have never liked it. I would much rather be a Jack or even a J — "Hey J!" — but there we go. Whenever I say to people, "My name's Jack," they always look at me as if to say, "Really?" and before you know it, they're calling me Jacky. If they call me anything at all, that is. I have never had any luck with getting people to call me J.


The Reviews

This book has 1 review with an average rating of 5 stars.

Taken with cheerful goodwill from the author's blog. I'd been waiting for this book for a while from the crowdfunding website Unbound. You know them; they get authors to pitch a book idea and then invite the public to support it, only publishing if it hits its targets. Perhaps because my tastes run... (read more)

The Author

DAVID QUANTICK writes for television (Veep, The Thick Of It, Brass Eye) and radio (One, The Blagger's Guide). He is also the author of the comic novel Sparks (described as "excellent" by Neil Gaiman) the comic book That's Because You're A Robot, and several short films, including the award-winning Welcome to Oxmouth. A script-writer, broadcaster, and comedy writer, David once appeared on Celebrity Come Dine With Me, where he came fifth out of five.

Questions & Answers

Kim Locke Kim Locke asked:

would you consider coming to Canada for the launch party?


Hi Kim

Of course! Whereabouts?

Best wishes

Optimistic Dave

Kim Locke Kim Locke asked:

Toronto! :)


We could have two...




I've been following your career closely over the years & there's one (ONE see what I did there?) question I've always wanted to ask: What's your favourite colour?


I don't have one alas. Would you like another question to make up for the disappointment?

Ian MacLeod Ian MacLeod asked:

I think I've now double-pledged. Meanwhile, what celebrities would you like to have taking calls for you in the 24 Quantathon which is surely only a few more pledges away?


I would choose Lemmy, for his directness. And of course you.
And if as I have heard said if the book were in Esperanto, it wouldn't make any difference, because untranslatable, er, translates.

The Rewards

This book is now published. You can still pledge, but you won't get listed as a supporter in the back.

E-book edition and access to the shed
1st edition hardback, e-book edition and access to the shed
Signed 1st edition hardback, e-book edition and access to the shed
Sold out
Launch Party
Two invites to the launch party in London, a signed 1st edition hardback, e-book edition, and access to the shed
Sold out
Name a Dog
There's a dog in the book. You can name it. (Includes everything up to the launch party level)
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Name a Character
Everything up to the launch party, plus the opportunity to name a character in the book. Literary fame for you or a loved one. Limited to four
Sold out
  • Format: Paper Back
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-091-6
  • Published: 06/2015
  • Format: hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-143-2
  • Format: hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-143-2