When the towns of Cromer and Sheringham fell out over the crabs what followed was a distinctly uncivil war. There was sabotage and spying, heroic acts and cowardly chapters, fought out in the old-fashioned crab boats which (to be fair to the crabs) went sideways. Buckles were swashed, bodices were ripped, derring-do was done, and all of this was commented on by the mysterious figure of the narrator.
What’s more, it was personal: it was personal for Cromeo and Sheriet, two young lovers so thoroughly parted by the hatred between their towns; for Elsie Primrose, who was no better than she ought to be; for Mrs Taylor, who traded very decently in extortion; for Blake Vincent, thrust into the job of Town Crier just as his voice was breaking; for Doctor Flawd, a man who never let the symptoms get in the way of a good diagnosis; for the Market Forces, a gang of persuasive young men who demanded much and supplied little.
All these characters, and many more, were caught up in a turmoil of events which seemed as if they would never be resolved.
‘Sid Kipper has an outer malice that conceals an inner beauty and warmth.’
– Matt Holland (Swindon Festival of Literature)
‘Kipper makes you laugh and makes you think, and that’s an uncommon quality.’