Haydn Middleton’s ‘The Ballad of Syd & Morgan’ BBC celebratory pack



Yes, to celebrate the BBC adaptation of Haydn Middleton’s The Ballad of Syd & Morgan, we’re giving you the chance to snap it up alongside his  follow-up novel The Actual Whole of Music!

And not just that, but we’re giving you free postage in the UK!

The Ballad of Syd and Morgan  is a compact counterfactual novel, first published exactly fifty years after the encounter it purports to describe.

A beautiful young man dressed in Cuban heels and a crushed-velvet jacket cuts a dash as he strides up Silver Street in his native Cambridge, heading for the ornate splendour of King’s College. It is 1968. He is the 22 year old Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, and his destination is home to the great Edwardian novelist, 89 year old E M Forster.

What follows is a tender exchange of truths between two men belonging to opposite ends of the 20th century, but who find within each other’s company shadows of the same demons, loves and losses as well as the familiar weight of the creative impulse. They become unlikely comrades passing fleetingly through each other’s lives. Conjuring the mischievous spirit of Pan, Haydn Middleton has created an exquisite fiction involving two towering figures of English culture.

The Ballad of Syd & Morgan is a deeply moving but joyous portrait of the despair and redemption at the heart of artistic endeavour, as well as the essential solace of  companionship – wherever it may be found.

The Actual Whole of Music is a love letter to the entrancement of being alive – or an untrustworthy recollection of events… A manual for existence – or an invitation to surrender before the mysteries of life?

Young travellers emerge from the blackout, uncertain of their past, unknowing of their future. As they drift across a reconfiguring world, the darkness gives way to laughter. Then one of their number is charged with setting down what happens next.

In a narrative which speaks both to and for its audience, this is that account.

A novel of astonishing power and originality, The Actual Whole of Music is a reminder that we are relentlessly displaced by forces around us, before us and after us.

It is the essential novel for now. As it always will be.

Praise for The Ballad of Syd and Morgan:

“Exquisite…  brilliantly imagines a meeting between Syd Barrett and EM Forster.”
Alex Preston, The Observer and Guardian’s ‘Ultimate Guide to Autumn Culture’

“Beguilling…beautifully written…brilliant.”
The Scottish Herald

“Uncannily a very, very good representation of Syd – I felt very close to him reading the book. A gentle conversation between two very interesting minds.”
Rosemary Breen, Syd Barrett’s sister (BBC Radio Cambridgeshire interview)

Praise for The Actual Whole of Music:

“I wanted my immersion of The Actual Whole of Music never to end. The very nature of this seductive novel is memory, dream and drift, recorded with diamond precision. The author’s achievement is to speak out of the mouths of individuals while at the same time be speaking to an entire generation.”
Kevin Crossley-Holland

“I don’t think I’ve ever read another novel that tries – and succeeds – in finding a framework to make sense of that fundamental mystery of human experience; passing – in the present moment – through time. What a beautiful book.”
Tim Pears

The Actual Whole of Music is gorgeously written. Each word has it’s own place, no fat, no extra detail. The text is multilayered, with many complex concepts just waiting to be picked at. We all know the adage ‘food for thought’ – Haydn Middleton has presented us with a veritable smorgasbord.”
The Bobsphere