Bob Mortimer is the recipient of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for his playful first novel.
Bob Mortimer’s first book, The Satsuma Complex, has been selected as the recipient of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comedic fiction this year. To honor this achievement, a pig will be given the same name as the novel.
Mortimer, known for being one half of the comedic duo Reeves and Mortimer with Vic Reeves, expressed his excitement at winning the award. He admitted, “I am truly delighted and this award gives me renewed confidence in my writing abilities.”
Gary Thorn, a legal assistant, goes out for a drink with a colleague, Brendan. When Brendan has to leave early, Gary stays and meets a girl at the pub. He is smitten with her, but she disappears without him knowing her name. The only clue he has is the book she was reading, The Satsuma Complex. Concerned about Brendan’s sudden disappearance, Gary sets out to find the mystery girl.
Peter Florence, the chair of the judging panel and founder of the Hay Festival, described Mortimer as someone who has a cunning and playful demeanor. He believes that Mortimer’s unique perspective on life is what makes his writing so brilliant and comically indirect. The language and tone of his work constantly shift the reader’s perception, and he has a talent for keeping readers on the verge of laughter throughout entire chapters.
You will come to love all of these characters, including the good ones, the bad ones, and even the very bad ones. You may even find yourself talking to squirrels. This will require you to reflect on the impact it has on you.
The prize aims to honor the most hilarious new books that capture the essence of PG Wodehouse’s clever characters and comedic timing. In addition to the pig (who will remain at Oaklands Farm in East Sussex), Mortimer will also receive a large bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année, and the entire collection of PG Wodehouse books from Everyman’s Library.
Other books nominated for the prize included Darling by India Knight, No One Cared About Carlotta by James Hannaham, Mother Hens by Sophie McCartney, Crime Manor Murders by Fergus Craig, and Outdoor Adventures for Teen Couples by Aravind Jayan.
This year’s judges included comedians Pippa Evans and Sindhu Vee, publisher David Campbell from Everyman’s Library, broadcaster James Naughtie, and Hay Festival vice-president Justin Albert, all working alongside Florence.
Past recipients of the award include Jonathan Coe, Helen Fielding, and Terry Pratchett. In the previous year, Percival Everett was declared the winner for his book The Trees.
The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer (Simon & Schuster Ltd, £8.99). To support the Guardian and Observer, order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.