Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence lives in Sheffield with his wife and children. He has written two previous novels, the Richard and Judy bestseller, THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS and THE MIRROR WORLD OF MELODY BLACK, which was described as 'a cross between Bridget Jones' Diary and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by a Simon Mayo Book Club reviewer.
Hodder & Stoughton

The Universe versus Alex Woods

By Gavin Extence

A tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey, Alex's story treads the fine line between light and dark, laughter and tears. And it might just strike you as one of the funniest, most heartbreaking novels you've ever read.

Alex Woods knows that he hasn't had the most conventional start in life.

He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won't endear him to the local bullies.

He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen - he's got the scars to prove it.

What he doesn't know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he'll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices.

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing . . .

This is a story that will have you smiling through your tears, a story that touches on the most potentially devastating of human dilemmas, without an ounce of sentimentality. It is also enormously uplifting. Perfectly crafted and beautifully written, the voice of this novel is true and clear and brings to life the human condition with insight, tenderness and humour. Which is to say the quality of style matches the quality of content. The Universe versus Alex Woods may be a debut novel but it is an outstanding novel by any standards. Unforgettable.'It's Mark Haddon meets Kurt Vonnegut''An eccentric young protagonist meets his match in a compelling comic debut''One of the year's most anticipated debuts''You'll laugh and cry... One of the funniest and most heartbreaking double acts in ages . . . an exceptionally good debut novel 5*''Fans of quirky tales will love this debut novel''This is an extraordinary debut novel. For me, Gavin Extence has produced in his narrator and hero Alex one of the most intriguing literary young people since Mark Haddon's Christopher. He's reminiscent of a better behaved Just William as an 11-year-old, combining a hyper-intelligence with naiveté that's as quirky as his upbringing'The debate around assisted suicide is eternally controversial but, when it comes to an argument for allowing sick people of mind the right to die, The Universe Versus Alex Woods trumps any Dignitas spokesman . . . Where this novel shines is in its characterisation: the brittle outer layers of socially awkward people are unpeeled to reveal big hearts and raw emotions. The sparring between Alex and Mr Peterson is a joy to read . . . With wit and warmth, Gavin Extence shines a light on one of the darkest, most difficult subjects of our time.Warm and funny and tragic and uplifting all in one. Extence should be on everyone's radar'Extence unfolds his offbeat tale with skill but his real triumph lies in providing such a memorable voice''Extence's plotting is astute, and he handles the theme of euthanasia with an affecting delicacy''Where this novel shines is in its characterisation: the brittle outer layers of socially awkward people are unpeeled to reveal big hearts and raw emotions. The sparring between Alex and Mr Peterson is a joy to read . . . With wit and warmth, Gavin Extence shines a light on one of the darkest, most difficult subjects of our time''The author Gavin Extence has been likened to Mark Haddon and Kurt Vonnegut, but the best comparison I can make is to JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. It's not the subject matter, more the way that Extence takes a small group of characters and builds up a story that hooks you in slowly and enduringly so, when the final crescendo peaks, you're so involved that you're weeping in to your pillow at 2am on a school night because you just had to know what happens. Then, of course, there's Alex: the quirkiest hero to grace modern literature since Adrian Mole . . . both heartwarming and painful to read . . . a resonant coming-of-age tale with a light touch.''Extence masters the difficult combination of comedy and tragedy and his lovingly-drawn central characters provoke deep-thought. Like his mother's colleague, emo-esque Ellie, readers will become increasingly fond of Alex, the naïve - yet insightful - narrator. Here's hoping Extence plans a sequel.''Laugh-out-loud funny in places, Gavin Extence's debut novel perfectly captures the awkwardness and agonies of growing up . . . Death, faith and morality are some of the gigantic concepts tackled here but with a lightness of touch and humour that never sounds like preaching.''The Universe Versus Alex Woods is built on brilliant characterisation, humour and emotional sincerity, cemented by philosophical mettle . . . a very impressive debut novel. With writing that is logical yet lyrical, comic yet compassionate, Gavin Extence has revealed the simple beauty of laughter, friendship, love and reason.''When the material darkens towards the end, Extence skilfully manages to keep the narrative engaging and surprising. Mr Peterson, in particular, is a welcome antidote to those endless depictions of wise old men who know everything, being a spiky, contradictory figure raging against the dying of the light with impressive and stirring verve. After it finds its voice, this is a hugely enjoyable and even wise book, with plenty to say about life and death, and Vonnegut fans, in particular, will absolutely love it'.'Sensitive, intelligent and articulate'This is the most thought-provoking book I have read for a long time.... I laughed out loud and cried quite a lot.Spectacularly barmy, unexpectedly moving and reasonably thought-provokingIt's becoming a cliche to that say that x is a strong debut novel which shows the author has potential but TUvsAW is one of those novels... Extence is a strong writer. Alex Woods feels like a unique and powerful character and as a narrator had me laughing and crying... it's a tale well worth telling and reading. It's also one that makes a cross-over novel for adults and children alike and I'm curious to see that Gavin Extence writes next.'The novel won me over. Extence tells a great story that owes much to Kurt Vonnegut, but also something to Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. It's hard not to see an echo of Harry Potter too, in the boy hero with a scar on his head. The final section is human and touching and Extence deserves credit for the clever and timely idea of fictionalising a trip to the Swiss death clinic...Extence's hugely likeable first novel is a fairytale for rationalists'This is a genuinely hilarious read, but also a deeply moving story about childhood, neurology and mortality.

A funny, moving and entertaining first novel from an exceptionally talented young British author.

Gavin Extence was born in 1982 and grew up in the interestingly named village of Swineshead, Lincolnshire. From the ages of 5-11, he enjoyed a brief but illustrious career as a chess player, winning numerous national championships and travelling to Moscow and St Petersburg to pit his wits against the finest young minds in Russia. He won only one game.Warm, charming, and very emotional, this story will make you laugh and cry in the space of a single sentence...Major pre-empt for World Rights that prompted frenzied bidding from around the world. Foreign rights have sold in seven territories so far, with more to follow.The hardcover will be launched with a creative and far-reaching marketing campaign. Our aim is for this to be a hardcover Sunday Times bestseller. The paperback will follow shortly in May.An uplifting, emotionally charged novel for fans of WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT and THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY. Like those much-loved novels, THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS shows there is hope and laughter even when life is at its bleakest...It's written in a literary but accessible style, has lots of layers, and will appeal to a wide and diverse audience.
Official website for The UNIVERSE VS ALEX WOODS

The Alex Woods website

The official website for Gavin Extence's brilliant debut novel, THE UNIVERSE VS ALEX WOODS. Visit for news, videos, facts, and much more.

The Alex Woods Pinterest

Visit the Alex Woods Pinterest for a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing process of Gavin Extence's much anticipated debut novel, THE UNIVERSE VS ALEX WOODS.
@ThingsAlexKnows

Follow Alex Woods on Twitter

Alex Woods is the second person in history to have been injured by a direct meteorite hit. He is also the fictional protagonist of Gavin Extence's debut novel, THE UNIVERSE VS ALEX WOODS. Follow him on Twitter!

Gavin Extence in Waterstones 11

Gavin was announced as one of this year's Waterstones 11, the biggest debut novels of 2013...
Hodder & Stoughton

The End of Time

Gavin Extence
Authors:
Gavin Extence

'Extence should be on everyone's radar' Jasper FfordeTwo young Syrian brothers swim the Mediterranean Sea to Turkey to escape their war-torn home. On arriving in Turkey, they meet an Iraqi man who smells strongly of whiskey, with no shoes on his feet, and whose name, they are told, is Jesus Christ.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Empathy Problem

Gavin Extence
Authors:
Gavin Extence

Driven by money, power and success, Gabriel has worked ruthlessly to get to the very top of the banking game. He's not going to let the inconvenience of a terminal brain tumour get in his way. But the tumour has other ideas. As it grows, it appears to be doing strange things to Gabriel's personality. Whether he likes it or not, he seems to be becoming less selfish, less mercenary, less unlikeable. Once he could dismiss the rest of humanity as irrelevant. Now he's not so sure. Women, in particular, are becoming worryingly three-dimensional. And none more so than Caitlin, the 'unremarkable' girl he sees busking on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral. When she plays her violin, Gabriel could almost believe that he has a soul... But as each day that passes brings him closer to his last, has time run out for second chances? Bestselling author Gavin Extence pushes the envelope again with another thought-provoking and funny novel about the surprises, good and bad, that life can throw at us.(P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder & Stoughton

The Mirror World of Melody Black

Gavin Extence
Authors:
Gavin Extence

It all starts, as these things sometimes do, with a dead man.He was a neighbour, not someone Abby knew well, but still, finding a body when you only came over to borrow a tin of tomatoes, that comes as a bit of a shock.At least, it should.And now she can't shake the feeling that if she hadn't gone into Simon's flat, if she'd had her normal Wednesday night instead, then none of what happened next would have happened. And she would never have met Melody Black . . .Wild and witty, searing and true, THE MIRROR WORLD OF MELODY BLACK is about the fine line that separates normal from not - and how life can spin, very swiftly, out of control.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Universe versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence
Authors:
Gavin Extence

*Perfect for fans of A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS***RICHARD AND JUDY summer bookclub read 2013, Amazon Rising star, and shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize***** A funny and touching story of an unlikely friendship and an improbable journey***Alex Woods knows that he hasn't had the most conventional start in life. He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won't endear him to the local bullies. He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen - he's got the scars to prove it. What he doesn't know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he'll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing.A tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey, Alex's story treads the fine line between light and dark, laughter and tears. And it might just strike you as one of the funniest, most heartbreaking novels you've ever read.

The Universe Vs Alex Woods

Gavin Extence talks about his first novel.

13Feb
24-26 Orchard Square, Sheffield, S1 2FB

Gavin Extence launch event at Waterstones Sheffield

Come and meet Gavin Extence
25Feb
28-29 High Ousegate, York, YO1 8RX

Gavin Extence talk at Waterstones York

Come and meet Gavin Extence
26Feb
27 Frenchgate Centre, Doncaster, DN1 1LJ

Gavin Extence talk at Waterstones Doncaster

Come and meet Gavin Extence
27Feb
37a Middle Street, Yeovil, BA20 1LG

Gavin Extence talk at Waterstones Yeovil

Come and meet Gavin Extence
28Feb
9-13 Garrick Street, London WC2E 9AU

Gavin Extence talk at Waterstones Covent Garden

Come and meet Gavin Extence