Daniel's Beetles is the author's translation of his prizewinning novel, Pryfeta
Daniel is six. One afternoon, while playing with insects in the garden, he sees his father fall to his death. Is he upset? It’s difficult to say, because Daniel would prefer to attend to his beetles. Forty years later, he remembers nothing of the event. But two failed relationships and his elderly mother’s confusion bring Daniel face-to-face with his demons. Then he meets Cerys and Dr Bruno and discovers a bold new way of regaining control over the past.
Daniel’s Beetles is an absorbing, unnerving novel about memory and forgetting, stories and lies. It describes our attempts to recreate ourselves in ways we can never fully control. And in Dr Bruno, it offers a disturbing glimpse of how our fears and desires can be manipulated by much larger forces.
Tony Bianchi is from North Shields, Northumberland and lives in Cardiff. The Welsh-language version of Daniel’s Beetles won the Daniel Owen Prize in 2007 and was short-listed for Wales Book of the Year. He has published two other novels in Welsh – Esgyrn Bach (2006) and Chwilio am Sebastian Pierce (2009) – and a volume of short stories, Cyffesion Geordie Oddi Cartref (2010). His English-language novel, Bumping (2010), was long-listed for the Portico Prize in 2010. He has also won awards for his poetry in Welsh.
‘One of the most exciting writers working in Wales today.’ (Lloyd Jones, Taliesin)
‘This is an intricate and multi-layered novel, rich in ideas and eloquent in expression, which will be pored over for years to come.’ (Owain Wilkins, Planet)
'...a rich, thought-provoking novel...' (New Welsh Review)
‘The writing is muscular and at times utterly overwhelming… I was exhilarated.’ (Robat Arwyn, adjudicator, National Eisteddfod of Wales)
The questions this book asks are serious, but Bianchi writes with great humour. This strange and marvellous novel is a joy - to be read slowly and savoured. -- Planet