Monthly Archives: February 2014

Freak Out!

  The cover is soft and silky, the innards have a new extra libel-cleared chapter – and the paperback is out now! In fact, I’m reading extracts from it all over town at the moment. What started out as a labour of love turned into something oddly different, and I’m thrilled that it’s doing so […]

Library Humour

Any further examples?

Are Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel Farrage the Same Person?

You never see them together, do you, even though they believe in the same stupid things. I’m just saying.

London Then and Now

  How much has London actually changed? These melded photographs form part of a larger set on Yahoo! and forwarded to me by Andrea Yang, which you can see here. I suspect they were created by the team responsible for the cover of ‘Vanishing London’ by Paul Joseph, which mixed old and new Fleet Street […]

Ditch The Whores And Leather : How London Is Falsely Renamed

Last night I passed the Marquis of Granby pub in London’s Cambridge Circus. Or rather, I didn’t. Because it has been renamed ‘The Ape & Bird’, which I guess is some kind of pun about neanderthals taking dates there. Admittedly the old name wasn’t much better, but at least there was a historical reason for […]

Re:View – ‘The Weir’

It’s hard to believe that Conor McPherson’s play about four lonely men and one woman in an Irish pub is already seven years old, but Josie Rourke’s production at the wonderful Wyndham’s Theatre (possibly the most old-school English theatre in London) is magnificent and still as intimate as it was at the Donmar. I’m allergic […]

Music While You Work?

  Does reading or writing require total silence, or is it helped by music? There are albums you’re meant to play to unborn children or when you’re studying that are supposed to help you relax or increase concentration, but there’s no scientific basis for that. It’s mainly a question of preference. I always play music […]

When Moral Writers Tackle Shocking Subjects

Novels are divided into classes. There are the intellectual exercises, the grand style experiments, the century-wide statements of the human condition, some readable, some not, many of which win academic prizes. And there are books that can speak truths although they aim for a middle market of readable, nicely written stories that sell. This is […]

Memories on The Wireless Reader

  I’m a fan of podcasts and sites about writing, so I’d like to draw your attention to a site by the broadcaster and novelist N Quentin Woolf (his powerful novel ‘Death of A Poet’ is out now from Serpent’s Tail) which has the participation of myself and others on subjects as diverse as Samuel […]

The Grand & Secret Pleasures Of Being Deeply Unfashionable

  Never be fashionable – it has no future. It’s true that I once wrote zeitgeist novels. They were out of date within hours of publication. After I’d got over this absurd idea of reflecting fashion (remembering that books take a year to appear, at least, two if they’re in hardback first) I discovered my […]