A writer visits a quaint English Cathedral town and discovers its goings-on are stranger than fiction.
When Evan J. Kirby, an eminent American expert on heaven and hell, arrives in Barrowcester to do some research, he finds the community in a less than blissful state. There is the bishop sharing his doubts with the confirmation class while his mother feeds marijuana cookies to Evan's landlady to unleash her psychic powers. Then there is Emma lurking in her father's study waiting for love; Dawn sitting naked in a deckchair at midnight waiting for the Devil, and Madeleine seeking refuge from a cardinally inclined Cardinal. When Evan delves into the true origins of the local saint, a macabre and romantic sequence of events begins to unfold.
`Gale is intoxicated with words and feeds upon them with a kind of manic relish...The sheer funniness of "Facing the Tank" made me laugh out loud. Its optimism delighted me.' Sunday Times
`Gale speedily unleashes his merrily black mischief. The uncovering of the sadness behind the doilies and twinsets is in the best tradition of black humour.' Observer
`A commendably intelligent, entertaining and moving novel.' Times Literary Supplement
`Original and amusing. An elegant, witty writer with an engagingly bizarre imagination. Patrick Gale writes with great zest. I kept on reading because I was perpetually astonished to find what Mr Gale had thought up next.' Sunday Telegraph
`The first thing that catches the attention about Patrick Gale is a sardonic eye, an engagingly leery way of looking at life, or the half-life he has chosen as his base in "Facing the Tank". It's as though "Cold Comfort Farm" had called in the interior decorators.' Guardian
Patrick Gale was born in 1962 on the Isle of Wight. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford and now writes full time.