Charlie Peace (novel)

Charlie Peace is the controversial comic novel by British writer Paul Pickering. It was published in the United States by Random House but not in the United Kingdom because of fears of Christian blasphemy prosecutions against the background of The Satanic Verses controversy[1]

Charlie Peace
First edition
AuthorPaul Pickering
CountryUnited States
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction
PublisherRandom House
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback), (Paperback)

Plot summaryEdit

Criminal Jack Peachey needs to find his own human narrative in the incredible stories Charlie Peace told him when he was a boy. He wants to imagine a Christ in his own image.


The book received favourable reviews in the USA.[2] Publishers Weekly called the novel ‘A bizarre, wildly surreal fantasy that lampoons Christianity and organised religion ... makes Salvador Dali’s psychospiritual rantings look tame.’[3] The novel not being published in the UK led to Pickering leaving his then publishers Chatto & Windus. The row led The Sunday Times to call Pickering the ‘de facto Norman Mailer of the British literati’ and J. G. Ballard said the book was ‘very entertaining while being genuinely subversive ... not to publish it in Britain is pure censorship.’[1]


  1. ^ a b The Sunday Times, 17 November 1991
  2. ^ Publishers Weekly, 25 July 1991; Austin American-Statesman, 19 June 1992; David Finkle, The New York Times, 19 January 1992; Carolyn See, Los Angeles Times, 9 December 1991
  3. ^ Publishers Weekly, 25 July 1991

External linksEdit