Hollywood’s Ratpac Entertainment options Harpenden author’s novel on fictitious Nazi hunter

Alan Stoob: Nazi Hunter

Alan Stoob: Nazi Hunter - Credit: Archant

A Hollywood production company is keen on a novel based on an elderly Nazi-hunter – whose genesis was a character publicised on Twitter – written by an author hailing from Harpenden.

Saul Wordsworth with his first novel "Alan Stoob - Nazi Hunter"

Saul Wordsworth with his first novel "Alan Stoob - Nazi Hunter" - Credit: Photo supplied

Coronet has published Alan Stoob – Nazi Hunter, the first novel of journalist Saul Wordsworth, known as “Wordy” to his friends.

The 41 year old, a former pupil of Roundwood Primary and St George’s Schools in Harpenden, explained that in 2012 he created a character on Twitter, a Nazi hunter named Alan Stoob (@nazihunteralan) based in Dunstable.

Thousands were soon following the exploits of the elderly hunter, with fans including singer Alison Moyet and comedians Al Murray, Dara O’Briain, Sarah Millican and Charlie Higson, who said: “If you haven’t seen any Nazis on the streets of Dunstable latterly it is entirely down to his tireless efforts.”

Saul said he had been pondering how to make his Twitter character “viable” when his girlfriend suggested he write a novel based on the adventures of Alan Stoob. He admitted it was “unusual” for a book to be the result of a “Twitter spin-off”.

The novel is about Stoob, who has carved out a second career hunting Nazis in the Luton area – and along the Nickey Line in the St Albans district – after retiring from the Beds Police.

Stoob worries about his haemorrhoids, suspects his wife of having an affair with the late Henry Cooper and is outraged when people wastefully use A4 sheets of paper to photocopy A5 size documents.

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Available in stores from Thursday, October 9, Alan Stoob – Nazi Hunter has already been optioned by RatPac Entertainment in Hollywood.

The production company was founded by the Australian billionaire son of media magnate Kerry Packer, James Packer, and his film-making partner Brett Ratner.

Saul said: “I’m very excited and surprised to have a Hollywood firm buy the rights to my novel – it’s nice to have that validation.”

The journalist writes for trade magazines, and contributes features and columns to various newspapers and the “odd sketch” for the BBC. He wrote his novel at home, but also found inspiration writing among literary treasures housed at the British Library in London.