On the Holloway Road picked up a good review from Emma over at Book Around the Corner yesterday. I don’t normally tell you about every review, but I wanted to highlight this one particularly because of a beautiful description of my main characters, Jack and Neil. Emma compares them to Sal and Dean in Kerouac’s On the Road, who she calls “day butterflies, the colorful ones who fly playfully from one flower to another under a sunny sky.” On the other hand:
I saw Jack and Neil as night butterflies. They’re grey, hollow, and live in a dark world and their pool of light is made of electric bulbs. When they fly, it’s only to bump into that artificial light they take for the sun and burn their fragile wings. Their freedom is sad and limited. It’s limited by their time and by their country, the cops, the camera, the rules and the absence of vast wilderness. They’re electronic music, mechanic, repetitive and inhuman. Their goal in itself draws the difference between them. While Sal and Dean drive to the sunny California, Jack and Neil drive to the windy and cold island of Barra.
It’s wonderful when someone else tells you something about your own book that you hadn’t seen in quite that way before. It happens sometimes when I’m speaking at libraries or bookshops and I get a question that makes me think “Hmm, actually I hadn’t thought of that but it’s a really good point.” Usually my response is “Yes, that’s exactly what I intended ;-)”
Anyway I thought the butterfly image was a great way of looking at the characters, and there were some other interesting observations in the review and the comments. I also wish we had the expression “coup de foudre” in the English language.
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