About the book

Between 1998 and 2016, Faulks appeared on a light-hearted Radio Four literary quiz show called The Write Stuff, with question master James Walton and opposing team captain John Walsh. Each programme had an author of the week, in whose style the panellists were asked to write a parody on a given theme.

Read extract

Read a short extract of Pistache

The story of Pistache

This element proved popular with listeners, and in 2006 Faulks published a collection of his efforts.

Here is a sample.

SYLVIA PLATH tells the story of Goldilocks

I am the doctor who takes
The temperature of each bowl.

Daddy Bear, your gruel,
Grey as the Feldgrau,
Pungent as a jackboot,
Rises under an ailing moon.
I have been sleeping
In your bed, Daddy.

Mother’s oats are blebbed
With ruby stains of fruit preserve
Beside the glass fire
Of her blood-orange juice.

The baby’s porridge bubbles
With a foetus eye.
I swallow the sins it is not
His to shrive. I devour
The cancerous pallor
With spoons of handled bone.

I plough the winding-sheets
Of each bear bed with my
Surgical breathing, as I die and rise
Three times before dawn.

My golden hair is electric
With the light of
Borrowed stars, spread out
On my pillow of skulls.

More facts about Pistache

Pistache contains the most oblique of all Faulks’s dedications: ‘To A.T.F.: the Master’. The identity of A.T.F. remains a complete mystery.