Blog / 2017

Christopher Fowler
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1. The Missing Males This is the first of three short pieces on new taboo subjects. And it's something I first noticed on the last tour - an almost total absence of male readers in the audiences. The only men who turn up now are students or retirees. Anyone else is an anomaly. A talk with my New York agent confirms that there's trouble ahead; in the USA males of working age have all but stopped…
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Christopher Fowler
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...When it's my home. And only one of many bookcases, I'm afraid. It's a minor compulsion and nearly under control; I can deal with it. The habit starts young. My mother had a cavalier disregard for books; she'd plough through them, bending corners, filling them with crumbs, dropping them in the bath, using a fag-end as a bookmark. She'd have made a fine bohemian. I grew up with the same louche…
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Christopher Fowler
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'The Book of Forgotten Authors' isn't the only book about books around at this time of the year. I've picked up a few already and I'm sure there are more to come. Here's what I've got so far... Bookshops - they look like the cosiest places in the world to work, don't they? Apparently not, according to Shaun Bythell's 'The Diary Of A Bookseller'. Shaun lives above the secondhand bookshop in…
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Christopher Fowler
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In 1867 Ambrose Bierce, American Civil War soldier, wit, and writer, began a satirical dictionary consisting of darkly humorous definitions. The lexicon was written over three decades as a series of installments for magazines and newspapers. Bierce's observations were imitated for years before he gathered them into books, first as The Cynic's Word Book in 1906, and then in a bigger version as The…
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Christopher Fowler
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The yuletide season must already be upon us because the Christmas decorations have been up in Oxford Street for ages. It's a season full of lost pleasures. John Grossman is the owner of one of the world's largest collections of Victorian and Edwardian artifacts and ephemera, and wrote 'Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas' with the intention of reminding us about what we've…
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Christopher Fowler
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Blame the information age; I have a tendency to overshare. Flicking through Amazon Books I stumbled upon (yes, honestly, I really wasn't looking for them) the comments section for some of my more experimental novels. If you've only read the Bryant & May series you have no idea how perverse my mind can be. And there it was, a review of 'Plastic' which chucked my own words back at me. Viz; 'When a…
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Christopher Fowler
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Your first novel sticks to you forever. I thought I'd go to my grave being described as 'The author of 'Roofworld'. In fact, it was the fourth book I wrote but the first that came with expectations and a decent publicity budget. The book was about gangs on rooftops, but if I was rewriting it now, I suppose it would take place on the Shard. It was a very difficult book to research as I couldn't…
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Roofworld
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Christopher Fowler
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I regularly wrote the 'Cinema Book Roundup' column for the Independent on Sunday and can't break myself of the habit, which clearly comes from spending so much time working in the industry. These days tell-all biographies have fallen from fashion, to be replaced by studio-sanctioned coffee-table volumes of photographs, but there are plenty of other unusual books around if you look. Two explore the…
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Christopher Fowler
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(This column is an updated version of one that first ran 5 years ago - I'm away for the weekend) As 'The book of Forgotten Authors wends its way toward the general public, yesterday I looked back over my chaotic files, getting ready to bung a feather duster over them and put them in neat new folders, metaphorically speaking. I realised that we - the editor and I - had cut out over half of the…
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Christopher Fowler
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Books
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In case you think I've been taking too much time off to write about tea, let me assure you that I've been busy planning the next tranche of books to come your way. First up, on October 5th 'The Book of Forgotten Authors' launches in the UK. Once there were popular novels almost everyone owned. Mum had Georgette Heyer, Dad had Eric Ambler, kids had Billy Bunter and the Borrowers. They were the…
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