My new paperback ‘The Last Goodbye’ is out February 2016

 

The Last Goodbye: A History of the world In Resignations is available at all good bookstores from 6th February 2016.

 

A new, updated and expanded ‘reboot’ of F**k You & Goodbye for the mass market, The Last Goodbye brings the tale of human history’s most misunderstood driver bang up to date with revealing insights into some of the highlights of the past two years – from Pope Benedict XVI’s mysterious self-sacking to the will-he-won’t-he resignation antics of FIFA’s former president, Sepp Blatter.

 

The Last Goodbye F**k You & Goodbye Author Matt Potter

The Last Goodbye is published by Little, Brown in the UK and Commonwealth, and Silvertail Books in the USA, Europe and rest of the world. Here’s what they said about the hardback edition last year…

 

“Rage, wit or breathtaking chutzpah that will leave you silently applauding or, maybe, looking to the door yourself” (Metro)

“A hilarious history of the resignation letter… Potter examines our fascination with parting shots” (Daily Telegraph)

“There is a poetry to the best resignations that comes from having nothing to lose” (Independent)

“Will make you want to quit your job immediately” (Buzzfeed)

“Just magnificent – an alternate history of our time” (Monocle)

“A fascinating and profound look at how quitters shape history” (The Current)

“A cracking read” (The Daily Politics)

“The sort of book that makes you think, long after you’ve put it down” (Rev. Richard Coles BBC Saturday Live)

“Celebrates the art of the elegant – or explosive – resignation” (The Week)

 

For any media or rights enquiries, please contact me via my agent, Humfrey Hunter at Hunter Profiles.

 

Camus, Wim Wenders and a philosophy of table football

 

About to throw this broken table football game out, I took one last look – this time, from the players’ point of view.

Table football

 

Everything can look confused, urgent, overwhelming and dramatic if you get sucked in too close to the action. Existentialist writer and philosopher Albert Camus once said, “Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I know it from football.” Camus was also a goalkeeper. Look at this picture, taken from behind the goalkeeper; then picture the game from where you’d play it, holding the handles.

 

The tension between those two points of view drives Camus’ The Outsider (below): between the antihero Mersault’s killing of a man, and society’s judgement.

 

 

It’s no coincidence that the other great existentialist murder story (it’s the opposite of a mystery; you always know exactly whodunnit. It’s a whydunnit, maybe?) is called The Goalkeeper’s Fear Of The Penalty – famous as Wim Wenders’ 1972 film (below), adapted from Peter Handke’s 1970 book.

 

 

The moment of the shot, and what comes next. Look at it from that goalkeeper’s point of view.

 

That shot. The next second. Life coming at you, thick and fast, non-stop, in the shape of sudden, sometimes seemingly random, arbitrary or inexplicable events. Which way will you dive? Do you decide, or does it just happen? Is that part of the game – the penalty – something you can direct, or is it being done to you?

 

Knowing it’s both at the same time – knowing you are at all times both inside the goalmouth awaiting what comes and dealing with the shots, and viewing the game from above, holding the handles – is consciousness. It’s the goalkeeper’s terrible burden, like it’s all of ours. But it’s salvation too – if you can take that high view when it matters, learn to switch focus, and zoom in and out at the right moment.

 

 

News: Outlaws Inc. published in a new edition… complete with secret CIA tapes

 

An updated, expanded edition of Outlaws Inc. is published in paperback by Pan Macmillan in March.

 

The new edition contains explosive new material – including full coverage of the recent high-profile trial of the infamous Merchant of Death in Manhattan, and never-before-published material from the CIA’s secret files on the infamous gunrunner, real name Viktor Bout. Also included are the secretly taped conversations that lead to his capture in Bangkok, and more revelations from the frontline of the arms trafficking pipeline to South America’s cocaine mafias.

 

 

If the new material is explosive, so is the new cover. It features a selection of the rave reviews for the book from the likes of the BBC’s John Sweeney (in the Literary Review), and Andy Ross of America Today, who compared the action to “James Bond meets Jason Bourne”.

 

Outlaws Inc. was published in its first edition in June 2010, and picked up acclaim from the Washington Post, BBC, Fox News and CNN, among others. Matt is currently writing the follow-up, to be published in 2013.

Review download: ‘Outlaws Inc.’ launches in Germany, gets full-page rave in The Literary Review!

Thanks to Britain’s leading literary magazine, The Literary Review, for their full-page write-up on Outlaws Inc. this month, by veteran BBC man John Sweeney. You can read the review by clicking on the scan above to enlarge – but suffice to say, I’m framing it and the cover. Coming on the heels of the Washington Post‘s “Fascinating… great writing” and the Seattle Times piece, this has been a great month for the book. My heartfelt thanks to all concerned.

 

Meanwhile, Outlaws Inc. launched under its German title Tödliche Fracht (‘Deadly Cargo’) in Germany, with a party at Ullstein Verlag’s HQ on Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse. Radio interviews in German with ARD and RTL as well as press interviews with newspapers from Kiel to Cologne and Potsdam to Münster saw it off. I’ll be posting some of the features and interviews, in German, in the very near future.

Comment: “A chilling indictment of worldwide regulatory failure” – or, the book beneath the book

Five newspapers in the UK have given a unanimous four-star thumbs-up to Outlaws Inc. – and with some hearteningly perceptive reviews that took me a little by surprise. The Liverpool Echo, Edinburgh Evening News and Yorkshire Post among others, and especially this review (below), from the Manchester Evening News, hit the nail on the head in a way that a lot of the gung-ho stuff misses.

Because for all the adventure, the anecdote and the fist-person element, I suppose I think what I might have ended up writing, without trying to really, was a book about what happens when governments take their hands off the wheel.

I trace the journey of Mickey and the rest of the now-stateless ‘outlaws’ whose country – along with all its certainties and the future it offered them – was snatched away by economic crisis. But somewhere deep down I know, as does the guy from the MEN – that it’s also a book about everything that’s happening now, to us. Read the review below, read the first chapter for free here, and let me know what you think.

News: Outlaws Inc is out in the USA, & the first (great) reviews are coming in…

Good morning America! Just a quick update on the eve of my US publication date to thank the American media for the great response so far, and especially the quality papers for reviews like this one from the Baltimore Sun calling Outlaws Inc. “a nonfiction tale more suspenseful and compelling than any espionage novel” and picking it out as it one of its “international thrillers of the autumn”, and the Waco Herald Tribune nailing it as “exciting and disturbing” – and hope that you all enjoy the book. I’ll be over in the third week of September to meet, interview and film, so if you’d like to talk while I’m there (or at any other time), just get in touch with me. Details on the ‘Contact’ page. Meanwhile, you can read a free extract of Outlaws Inc. in this month’s edition of top-selling proper men’s mag Men’s Journal.

Outlaws Inc is Maxim magazine’s big adventure

Maxim magazine has made Outlaws Inc. its adventure of the month for August, with a three-page feature interview on some of the key locations featured in the book. From mafia-run Belgrade to the bootleggers’ paradise of Kabul and war-torn Africa, the feature takes a long, hard look at just how the guns, drugs and gold gets in and out. Thanks, guys!

Upcoming: Spiegel, advertising and social media campaigns to spearhead German release

Outlaws Inc will be released on 30th September in Germany. The book’s German title is Tödliche Fracht – das heimliche Geschäft mit Waffen und Drogen (“Deadly Cargo – the secret trade in weapons and drugs”). German publisher Ullstein/Econ is supporting the launch with advertising, a social media campaign and campaigns in Spiegel Online. as well as traditional press activity, serialisation and review opportunities, and a German-language press tour by Matt in October. The title is Econ’s priority launch for the season, and takes up the first five pages (including the cover) of the season’s catalogue, viewable as a PDF here: Econ_2_2011_Vorschau, or downloadable as a page-turner here.

Translated into German by Christoph Bausum, and with photos by Matt himself, Canadian reporter Doug McKinlay and others, the book appears with a special metallic, embossed cover to resemble the grey, riveted metal sides of the smugglers’ Soviet-era Ilyushin planes.

For German interview, speaking or review opportunities, contact Caroline Kraft at Ullstein/Econ in Berlin. caroline.kraft@ullstein-buchverlage.de or telephone: +49 (0) 30 23456 432.