Goddard, Tariq 1975-
GODDARD, Tariq 1975-
Born 1975, in London, England. Education: Attended King's College London, and University of Warwick.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Sceptre, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3B4 England.
Homage to a Firing Squad was shortlisted for Whitbread First Novel Award, 2002.
Homage to a Firing Squad, Sceptre (London, England), 2002.
Dynamo, Sceptre (London, England), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
War Pigs, a novel.
Novelist Tariq Goddard, according to a reviewer in the Guardian, "sets his novels in periods of extreme political turmoil, and then populates them with characters who lack any passion for politics." This juxtaposition is evident in Goddard's first novel, Homage to a Firing Squad, set during the Spanish Civil War. In the novel, four young men head out in a car to find and assassinate the politician Don Rojo. However, none of them have experience in assassination, and to complicate matters, three of them are in love with Don Rojo's daughter. In addition, as they head toward Don Rojo's hacienda to kill him, he lies in bed, considering killing himself.
As they travel down the dark and rainy Tibidabo road, with the war raging around them, the would-be assassins meet amorous barmaids, crises, road blocks, and the man who ordered them to assassinate Don Rojo. When they finally get to Don Rojo's hacienda, they converge with two other assassins and two of Don Rojo's daughters in what the publisher described as "a surreal and bullet-ridden climax." Homage to a Firing Squad was shortlisted for the 2002 Whitbread First Novel Award.
Goddard's second book, Dynamo, is set during Stalin's Russia in the late 1930s. Europe is heading toward World War II, and Stalin rules with an iron grip, killing anyone who displeases him and setting impossible production goals for factories and laborers. The novel features two rival soccer teams, Spartak and Dynamo; Dynamo is run by the Soviet secret police, and Spartak represents ordinary workers. On the eve of a critical game, the star striker for Spartak takes to his bed, threatening Spartak's winning streak. In addition the secret police threaten the manager and trainer of Spartak, telling them that if they don't lose the game to Dynamo, they and their teammates will be harassed, imprisoned, and perhaps even killed. These men are forced to choose between their honor as athletes and their own safety. A Guardian reviewer noted, "It is an extraordinary moment, brimming with symbolism: individualism versus collectivism, passion versus discipline; the workers versus the secret police."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Guardian (Manchester, England), June 21, 2003, review of Dynamo.
Spoiled Ink,http://www.spoiledink.com/ (February 22, 2004), Sean Merrigan, interview with Tariq Goddard.*