The Viney Agency


Mark MasonAfter several years at the BBC, where he produced programmes for Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live, Mark Mason left to become a full-time writer. His novels garnered praise such as ‘Mason’s natural voice is that of “everybloke” – the Nick Hornby of Fever Pitch or the John O’Farrell of The Best A Man Can Get.

His non-fiction includes Walk the Lines, for which he walked the entire London Underground system overground ('awesome' - BBC6 Music; 'an extraordinary odyssey' - Robert Elms), and The Importance of Being Trivial, a look at why we’re fascinated with trivia ('an irresitably hapless charm' - The Guardian, 'I loved the book' - Richard and Judy). His last book Move Along Please: Land's End to John O'Groats by Local Bus, was praised by Steve Wright as 'a good source of factoids, I'm thinking'. Mason is also the author of the Bluffer’s Guide to Bond and the Bluffer’s Guide to Football.

He has written for most national newspapers, as well as magazines from The Spectator to Four Four Two via Glamour. He has also addressed the nation on many radio and TV networks, occasionally on subjects he knows something about.

Orion published his latest book, Question Time, to critical acclaim in 2017.

His The Book of Seconds on the glorious (or inglorious) individuals from history who lost out to the winners was published by Orion in 2018.

Praise for Mail Obsession: ‘An entertaining read’ (Daily Express)

‘Awesome - full of amazing facts’ (The QI Elves)

‘Fascinating’ (Daily Mail)

‘Turns up trivia at every stop’ (BBC Radio 4)

‘Fantastic stuff’ (BBC London)

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David Ambrose
Did you know that the second man to swim the Channel drank 20 drops of champagne every hour? Or that the second crew to land on the Moon danced to a pop song in zero gravity? Or that the second man to run a sub-4-minute mile once stopped to check on a fallen rival - but still managed to win the race?

You probably didn't - because seconds never get the attention they deserve. This book reveals the people and things who until now have been kept in the shadow of the firsts. We'll glory in the achievements of the nearly-men and nearly-women, not to mention nearly-skyscrapers, nearly-LPs and nearly-deserts.

Above all we'll see how so-called 'runners-up' can be exciting, intriguing and heroic. Step forward, seconds - your time in the spotlight has come at last.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Book of Seconds, Orion, 2018; Question Time, Orion, 2017; Mail Obsession: A Journey Round Britain by Postcode, Orion, 2015; Move Along Please, Random House, 2013; Walk the Lines, Random House, 2010; The Importance of Being Trivial: In Search of the Perfect Fact, Random House, 2008; The Bluffer’s Guide to Bond, Oval Books, 2006; The C Words, Time Warner, 2005; The Catch, Time Warner, 2004; What Men Think About Sex, Time Warner, 2002; The Bluffer’s Guide to Football, Oval Books, 2001.