Quotes From My Non-Bryant & May Books No.5
Looking at it now, I’m astonished by how vicious and surreal the satire is in ‘Psychoville’ (the title of which was nicked by Reece Shearsmith for his TV show, after he had seen the book in my flat). It began as a deeply felt personal project but turned into a tightly plotted but outrageously perverse novel of madness and revenge. Billy and April are damaged by their upbringing, but opt to return to the place that hurt them and reclaim what was rightfully theirs. Doing so results in death, destruction and a final twist I’ve always been proud of. The book is too dark for some readers, but was always intended as a satire. Satires, as we know, are never big hits.
‘Psychoville’ remains one of my favourite books, and still reminds me how hard-edged my writing can be when I want. This is from a chapter entitled ‘Obligatory Sex Scene’.
‘I wonder what they get up to in their little bedrooms,’ she mused. ‘I imagine they penetrate each other with the utmost hatred. Don’t suppose there’s much wife-swapping going on. Such a sexist term, I feel. Why not husband swapping?’ She looked down at the supine form beside her. ‘We can do something else if you prefer.’
He nodded uncertainly at this.
‘Yes, perhaps it would be better. Okay, Billy, I’ll let you up.’ She unpeeled the leather gag from his mouth and hunted about under the duvet for the key to the rubber handcuffs that were pinning his wrists to the side bars of the bed head.
‘I mean, we should keep attempting this, seeing as we’re a married couple. Although of course, the sheer legality of it all takes the edge off. I always feel that sexually I would prefer to drift on the ocean of the abnormal.’