Posts tagged novel

Review of The Pimlico Kid by Barry Walsh

Writing about Indian Magic recently reminded me of another book set in the 1960s, one I read a while ago and wanted to write about, but never got around to. That book is The Pimlico Kid by Barry Walsh, a beautifully written tale about a dramatic childhood summer in 1960s London. Billy Driscoll starts the summer as a boy, peeping over a neighbour’s garden wall with his friend Rooksy, watching the beautiful Madge Smith hang out her washing. By the end of the summer, he’s experienced love, excitement, danger, a couple of… Read More

As if by magic…

A sharp-eyed Amazon-watcher just emailed to let me know that my next book, A Virtual Love, has been listed and is available for pre-order. Now don’t worry, this isn’t a sales pitch – I wouldn’t ask you to go and order a book about which there’s no information, not even a cover photo. I just mention it because it’s interesting how the listing of the book online makes it feel more real for me. The thing hasn’t even been edited yet, and it’ll be six months at least before it… Read More

“Tomorrow Pamplona” by Jan van Mersbergen

A road trip taken by two men across Europe to the bull-running at Pamplona. The set-up appealed to me: it’s quite similar to my own novel, with two men on a road trip, exploring the strange relationship between them and the mutual search for something more than what they have. The characters are quite different from mine, though. They start as strangers: Robert picks up Danny outside a service station and offers him a lift. Despite Robert’s best attempts to get inside Danny’s head, they really remain strangers right to… Read More

Signed copies available, free worldwide delivery

I have just added a “Buy Now” feature to my website – if you click the button on the right-hand side, you can order a copy of On the Holloway Road from me directly and pay through PayPal. For £7.99, I will sign a copy for you (personalised if you let me know the message), and will ship it free of charge to any destination worldwide. If you want to buy an eBook, or prefer to buy from a bookshop, click here for more information on where you can get… Read More

Books arrived!

When I first decided to quit my sensible career job and focus on writing, I suppose this is the day I had in mind. At the end of all the early mornings and late nights and rejection letters and self-doubt and setbacks and new starts and hating the chapters I loved yesterday and editing and wondering and dreaming and starting again yet again, I finally have a book in my hands. Of course, I had seen endless pdf proof copies of the cover and all the inside pages, and indeed… Read More

“The Steep Approach to Garbadale” by Iain Banks

I particularly liked that although most of the story is told from Alban’s point of view, he is described at first from the outside, first from his cousin Fielding’s perspective, then from that of Tango, the man he is staying with in Perth. It immediately creates the sense of Alban as a slightly mysterious, unknowable character, and this feeling persists through the rest of the book, even as we are told much more about him and given access to his thoughts. It’s a clever device, and the book is full of similar effects. If the clues to the ending had been a little less heavy-handed, this would have been an excellent book.

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Franco Moretti on the Novel

Read a very interesting piece by Franco Moretti in New Left Review, July/August 2008. It seems like a synopsis of a much longer, multi-volume work on the theory of the novel, which I plan to read when I have time. Moretti talks about the theory of the novel by asking three surprising questions: Why are novels in prose? Why are they so often stories of adventures? Why was there a European, but not a Chinese, rise of the novel in the course of the 18th century? His point about prose… Read More

“Afterwards” by Rachel Seiffert

The style of writing is very conversational. No beauty, not even many full sentences. The sort of writing with not many verbs. Just reportage,and not always very grammatical, like you were hearing someone tell you it on the phone. That part didn’t work for me, but the advantage of it was that it focused my attention entirely on the characters, all of which were strong and fascinating. What made them successful, too, was that while much was revealed about them, important things were also withheld, so that they felt elusive… Read More