Daniel O'Thunder

It is 1888 as I write these words. I am an old man now, scratching syllables by candlelight at an old desk in a dingy room in Whitechapel . . .

Sometimes I write of the Devil, and of his activities amongst us in London some decades ago, my connection to which may grow more clear as we proceed. But mainly I write of a man named Daniel O’Thunder, who was—who remains— the most remarkable I have ever met. . .

I may here and there have invented certain facts, but always in the service of a greater Truth. As indeed did Matthew and Mark and Luke and John—and every single word they wrote was Gospel.

This, then, is my Book of Daniel. In writing it—in telling you the tale of Daniel O’Thunder, and his deadly Enemy—I am of course telling the tale of myself as well. And to tell my story we must begin where it all began to go so wrong.

- Finalist for the 2010 Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Best First Book

- Finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award

- Finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

- Finalist for the 2009 Canadian Authors' Association Award for Fiction

Find Daniel O'Thunder on Chapters.Indigo.ca, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk.

Set in mid-Victorian London, Daniel O'Thunder interweaves the voices of several narrators to tell the tale of a troubled but charismatic ex-prizefighter who challenges none other than the Devil to meet him in the ring: bare knuckles, London Prize Rules. Chosen by The Library Journal as one of the best historical novels of 2011.

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"'Dickensian' is an adjective too often misused in describing books set in Victorian England. It is, however, the perfect word for this superb novel, nominated for the Commonwealth Prize....Marvellous from the first paragraph." --Globe and Mail

"This thumping serving of early Victoriana dishes up some memorable characters: a not-so-little Nell, Jaunty the slippery entrepreneur, decent-hearted journalist William Piper, sinister Lord Sculthorpe and seemingly innocuous Jack Hartright. Towering above them all is Daniel O'Thunder, a former soldier and ex-prizefighter turned evangelist whose inspired preaching amid the fetid slums of the East End makes him a legend. But another figure, 'vain as an ageing tragedian,' vies with Daniel: the Devil himself. Ian weir tantalizingly incorporates clues as to his possible human identity with a terrific, fast-moving narrative." --The Guardian

"...the Devil has taken many guises in Western literature over the years. Until Ian Weir cast him into Victorian England, though, never has the dark one been asked to step into the ring...A knock-out debut." --National Post

"The battle between the great Hammer of Heaven and the evil stalking him climaxes in a fight that will leave readers breathless. This robust historical novel by an award-winning Canadian screenwriter will captivate fans of Sarah Waters and Charles Dickens." --Library Journal

"In this delicious jumble of a novel, Weir has created an epic hero....Drenched in filthy Thames water and coiffed in mutton chops, Weir's outlandish tale is a top-shelf page-turner." --Publishers Weekly

"If one unreliable narrator is enough to skew a book toward the fantastical, imagine the twists generated by four! ...it’s a sign of [Weir's] sure command that all are engaging, even when spinning bald-faced lies or subtle prevarications…This is wonderful stuff." --Georgia Straight

"Weir’s plot steps smartly, and the language crackles with the immediacy of shifting first-person voices… There are murders, rapes, hangings, prizefights, a city-wide riot, and lots of thrilling escapes." --Quill and Quire

"Ambitious in scope and structure, the book speaks in pitch-perfect Victorian diction through a wide range of characters to relate the ultimate-stakes quarrel between the pugilist preacher Daniel O’Thunder and his ultimate adversary: The Devil Himself." --Vancouver Magazine

"Laced with blood thunder, sex, murder, rape, mayhem and miracles, Ian Weir's first novel is about good versus evil…from the outset, even if we haven’t read the authors biography we know we are in skilled hands." --BC Bookworld