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Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
7:00 PM
Orlando Weeks will release his debut hardback book ‘The Gritterman’ on September 7th on Particular Books / Penguin. To coincide, the former frontman of The Maccabees will also release a companion album on the same day.

An ice-cream man in the summer months, The Gritterman’s true love is his other seasonal job: to secure the safety of treacherously icy roads at the height of winter. The turning point comes early in the narrative when the local council writes to tell The Gritterman that his services are no longer required. After this revelation we follow our hero on his final night of doing the job that he loves.

'A lot of people’s work goes unrecognised and this is one of those jobs where that’s the case,' says Weeks. 'To just go about your business and not need thanks is a very attractive quality, and he finds comfort in that sense of purpose.'

The book blends the title-character’s economically elegant monologue with his creator’s artwork. Echoes of Weeks’ heroes Raymond Briggs, Eric Ravilious and Edward Ardizzone are prevalent throughout the book’s 80 pages, which were mostly crafted with colouring pencil alongside occasional watercolour and some ink outlining.

The book’s companion album which was also written entirely by Weeks. Interwoven with the narration and Foley effects, the eleven compositions delve deeper into The Gritterman’s inner thoughts and allow his feelings to be conveyed romantically and poetically – a contrast to the sincere candour of his spoken word.

Actor and comedian Paul Whitehouse was Weeks’ dream choice to narrate The Gritterman. As Weeks explains, 'The Gritterman is kindly and light-hearted but stoic at the same time and Paul was able to strike that balance perfectly. Funny but thoughtful. He’s been a joy to work with.'