"One of the funniest novels I've ever read.
I honestly didn't want this book to end."
The Wine Stalker
The highly improbable but occasionally true tale of a professional wine buyer
ISBN (paperback) : 978-1-78-608066-0
ASIN (Kindle): B07CCFW82L
Imagine Sideways meeting The Wolf of Wall Street, add a sprinkle of Tom Sharpe and a whisper of Wodehouse, and you'll get a feel for the world of Corkscrew, the bawdy satire set amid the claret-guzzling, free-wheeling world of the all-powerful supermarket wine buyer.
Set in 1990's London, the story begins as Felix, a tragic orphan, is expelled from school, cast on to the British high street and forced to make his way in the cut-throat world of wine retail. Thanks to a positive mental attitude, he is soon forging a promising career, his sensual adventures taking him to the vineyards of Italy, South Africa, Bulgaria and Kent.
His path to the summit is littered with obstacles, however. Petty office politics, psychotic managers and the British Board of Wine & Liquor prove challenging enough. But when Felix negotiates the world’s biggest Asti Spumante deal, he bites off more than he can chew and is plunged into a vicious world of Mafiosi, people smuggling and ruthless multinationals.
Part thriller, part self-help manual and part drinking companion, Corkscrew is a coruscating critique of neo-liberal capitalism, religious intolerance and the perils of blind tasting.
Reviews of Corkscrew
"Boasting casual storytelling mastery and the sharp-tongued wit of Tom Robbins, Peter Stafford-Bow presents an incredibly amusing and unpredictable tale. For wine lovers or those who simply love a great story, this is a mad ramble through the tangled world of wine, taking readers across two continents and countless adventures of one exceptional character, Felix Hart. Corkscrew is a strange cross between a thriller and a farce, but Stafford-Bow pulls it off with panache – and a self-aware smirk on his face." ★★★★½
John Staughton, Self-Publishing Review
October 3, 2016
"Peter Stafford-Bow’s first novel, CORKSCREW: The Highly Improbable, But Occasionally True, Tale of a Professional Wine Buyer, follows Felix Hart as he rises comically from an ejected prep school student to a major player in the wine industry, narrating his account to a panel of mysterious investigators.
But CORKSCREW is more than just a string of eccentric and naughty anecdotes—it’s a chronicle of one man’s undeserving good fortune as he bounces around the world buying wine and climbing up the corporate ladder of retail.
CORKSCREW will make the reader squirm, cringe, eye-roll and surely laugh out loud as he travels through the pages of this tale, negotiating, charming, escaping danger, and drinking wine with Felix."
Erin Greenhalgh for IndieReader.com
October 5, 2016
"This book gets a big thumbs up from me... this is not for youngsters."
Dave Nershi on Vino-Sphere.com
December 5, 2016
"...one of the funniest novels I've ever read. I honestly didn't want this book to end."
Joey Casco on The Wine Stalker.net
January 8, 2017