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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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In Waitrose at the weekend I bumped into Max Schindler, the awesome artist who creates the Bryant & May covers, like the one on the left. I had always pictured him as young, small, rather shy. He was around 6'6", clad in black, a bit scary-looking, middle-aged, wild eyed and twinkly. We held a mutual admiration society meeting over the courgettes. --- My neighbour queued twelve hours to see the…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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A comment from Robin yesterday prompts this consideration; when does a book stretch credibility too far for you? On TV that moment is known as Jumping the Shark, after the Fonz in 'Happy Days'. On film it's called Nuking the Fridge, after the fourth Indiana Jones film. What is it in books? Personally, I find it in two places on the page; first when a story's hero/ine does something implausible or…
8 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Despite the new century's welcome seismic shift in sexual equality, we all know there are gender divisions in reading. Or as my father once put it; 'Romantic novels are for middle-aged women who hate their husbands.' I've met few men who profess to having read 'Jane Eyre', a novel I find turgid and deeply peculiar, or for that matter 'Pride and Prejudice', although a few have read the one with…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Writers are not supposed to name the books they don't like; it's an unwritten law, as if by doing so we'll somehow damage the trade. All writers have flaws and quirks; it's what makes them individual and interesting, and is why instructional books like Joseph Campbell's 'The Hero's Journey' cannot be applied to the letter, because if we did that all books would be the same. But there are some…
9 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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According to property agents, Harrogate in North Yorkshire is the UK's happiest town, while nine out of 10 of the grimmest places to live are in London - but Harrogate, with its flower-filled park running through its centre, its famous tea rooms and spa, its affluent kitchen design shops, hides a dark secret. This Thursday it will be awash with bloodlusting misfits whose minds are diseased with…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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'Choose one style of writing and stick with it,' I was told many years ago by an editor. Naturally I ignored her and continued to plough a lonely furrow between every possible known genre, starting with my very first fiction novel 'Roofworld' (SF? Fantasy? Urban Drama? Thriller? Satire?) through 'Spanky' (Thriller? Satire? Bromance? Supernatural?) to 'Plastic' (Chick Noir? Female Empowerment…
19 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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Today's column is a coalescence of several others I've been writing and thinking about for a while. It came to a head when I gave a speech at the Southbank Literary Festival about outsider status. I'd written before on the subject, but the speech introduced a number of outsiders from different centuries. The ultimates are Proust and Kafka, but literature is filled with them, and there's the most…
10 comments

Years