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Fantasy Novel by BBC Star: Cultural Antidote to 2023's Mental Health and Creativity Crisis

Langdimania, the debut novel of BBC Radio 4 comedy writer and star, musician, founder of Antifolk and 'living legend of New York' (Time Out Magazine), Lach cited as a cultural antidote to 2023's mental health and creativity crisis. 18 October 2023 — In a year where one in six Britons grappled with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression and where creative opportunities nosedived by 30% Lach's debut novel Langdimania could be considered as a 2023 cultural necessity.

Credit: Perry Jonsson

Authored by the Antifolk founder and BBC Radio 4 host, the book has already secured its

place as LoveReading4Kids’ Debut Novel of the Month (as well as Staff Favorite of the Week) and is fast becoming a staple on end-of-year must-read lists. Celebrated as "New York’s living legend" by Time Out London, Lach has a multifaceted career that spans music, comedy, and now, in 2023 - literature. His novel serves as both an escape and a poignant reflection of our times. Set in a world that defies conventional reality, Langdimania offers its readers a momentary respite from their own challenges. The author’s nonconformist and rebellious attitude, which fuelled the Antifolk movement, is the cornerstone of Langdimania - published by The Book Whisperers. The book transports readers to a fantastical world that exists in the imagination of a 12-year-old boy named Army. Or does it? Army's adventures, which include learning the truth about time from a talking pig and trying to save a floating girl from impending doom, echo the day-to-day struggles of junior high school where Army is trying to get the lead in the school musical. This narrative resonates with anyone who has ever felt the weight of not fitting in, while also celebrating the power of imagination and creativity. The international star from New York City currently residing in Edinburgh, Lach has been cited as a main inspiration for such artists as Beck, Regina Spektor, Laura Marling and hundreds of others, with high profile fans including Bob Dylan and Suzanne Vega.

“Lach is great!” - Bob Dylan
“Lach is so what the East Village used to be all about. He's a gruff-and-tough punk turned poet with a heart of gold.” - Time Out New York "Lach is incredibly bright, influential, funny, smart, with his own counter-culture charm. He’s become part of New York folklore." - Suzanne Vega

As the year draws to a close, Langdimania stands out as a compelling choice for Christmas gifting to both children and adults. Its themes of imagination, creativity, and nonconformity make it a perfect read for both kids and adults, encapsulating the spirit of retaining our childlike wonder even as we age. Think “Ferris Bueller goes to Narnia” and you’ll start to get the idea! The genesis of Langdimania is as compelling as its content. The narrative began to take shape in Lach's mind as he read bedtime stories to his then eight-year-old son. Designed with short chapters, the book encourages the cherished parent-child ritual of "just one more chapter" making it accessible for busy families without compromising its depth. After relocating to Edinburgh for his critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe debut at The Gilded Balloon, Lach faced the personal upheaval of his wife Anu’s cancer diagnosis. It was Anu's encouragement that led him to make Edinburgh their new creative sanctuary.

Here, Langdimania was born, serving as both a tribute to his late wife and a therapeutic outlet for his grief. The narrative follows Army, a twelve-year-old navigating dual realities, encapsulating the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of creativity in a year that has tested both.

Upon its April 2023 release, the book received accolades from key figures in literature and the arts. Zoë Howe, a renowned author, lauded it as "wildly vivid and magical" while Jeff Zycinski, Former Head of BBC Scotland, dubbed it "an absolute page-turner" and Bob Dylan biographer and NYT best-selling author Larry “Ratso” Sloman had this to say, “Langdimania, like Lach’s songwriting, is sharp, funny and filled with fantastic imagery. Imagine if Jack Kerouac and John Hughes had collaborated on a book together and you start to get the idea of how much fun Langdimania is for kids and grown-ups alike. Buy this book and read it to your kid. Hell, read it to the punk next door. You’ll be aces in their book forever!” As 2023 draws to a close, Langdimania stands not just as a novel but as a cultural imperative, a testament to the transformative power of creativity in challenging times.

Please consider Langdimania for your Best of 2023 lists and holiday shopping guides. Lach (pronounced - “Latch”) is a multi-platform phenomenon with six critically acclaimed albums (“Splendid, best of its kind!” - Mojo Magazine), a fast-selling book of poetry, The Thin Book of Poems, (“Outstandingly beautiful.” -, and a hit BBC Radio 4 comedy/storytelling series, ‘The Lach Chronicles’, (Top Radio Pick Hit from The London Times, The Observer, The Independent, The Telegraph), and now his debut novel, Langdimania!


About The Book Whisperers

The Book Whisperers offer a structured community for both writers and readers to engage in meaningful interactions. Writers benefit from constructive feedback and professional networking opportunities, while readers gain access to a curated selection of diverse literary works. The platform also provides resources for effective marketing strategies, allowing authors and publishing professionals to better monetise their skills.

Popular with Both Kids and Adults

Popular with both kids and adults - parents or not - one reader said “I bought this for my 12-year-old son and he loved it, but, surprisingly enough, so did I. It had the funny snarkiness of teen TV sitcoms like Malcolm in The Middle or Young Sheldon mixed with fantasy adventure like the Narnia books, but with the wit and philosophical curiosity of Douglas Adams or Harry Potter. I hope the author intends this to be a series because we both want more! A highly recommended addition to the young adult bookshelf.”


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  • Mental Health Foundation, "Mental Health in the UK (2023)

  • Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, "The Decline of Creative Outlets in the UK (2023)

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