Project Description

Inheritance, 2010 (Longlisted Dublin IMPAC Award)

What would you do if you suddenly and unexpectedly inherited £17 million? This is what happens to Andy Larkham, recently jilted lover, and resentfully underpaid publishing minion. Arriving late to the funeral of his favourite schoolteacher, he ends up in the wrong chapel with one other mourner, too embarrassed to leave. Pressured to sign the register, little does he realise what effect that signature will have upon his life. The extraordinary story that follows tells of one man’s failed love, the temptations of unanticipated wealth, the secrets of damaged families and the price of being true to oneself. It is a romance for our times.

Unambiguous fictional mastery… the voice of a great novelist… a book that haunts the mind like an enchantment
Peter Craven, The Age
Thoughtful and beautifully observed… Never predictable, this novel combines a remarkable narrative force with the lightest of touches. A book to savour and pass on
The Economist
Shakespeare has taken great risks with this novel, intertwining different stories, writing in different registers, mixing fantasy life with cruel reality. He brings it off; different passages in different veins contrive to ring true. It’s an utterly absorbing and enjoyable novel, one so engaging that you find yourself willing it to end happily. It is a Romance which moves with assurance from wild improbability to a reconciliation with things as they may truly be
Allan Massie, Scotsman
Completely riveting and very funny indeed. Shakespeare at his empathetic best, as he mines the fragile seam of our desire to be loved for who we are
Sunday Telegraph
Compelling – and consistently surprising
Sunday Times
A very funny book indeed, beautifully plotted, and it tells a nice morality tale about the nature of avarice, and the absurdity of our times
A.N.Wilson, Reader’s Digest
Brilliant… heart-stopping… it feels as though you’ve dozed off during an episode of The Office and woken up in The Brothers Karamazov
Frank Cottrell Boyce, The Guardian
A novel of scintillating brilliance… The flipside of Inheritance takes us into near-Dostoyevskian territory but somehow it’s a seamless segue and in its impassioned sense of injustice this tale grips with such relentless force that some readers may be too absorbed to fully note Shakespeare’s double-virtuosity
London Metro