How Much Do Readers ‘Get’?

I don’t believe in lowest-common-demonenator writing. There should be books we’ll never fully understand and tales of such complexity we have to wrestle with them, even though there are fears that the days of complex or obscure writing are coming to an end, partly due to the new ADD that has replaced quiet contemplation (there’s […]

This Is What A Bookshop Should Look Like

People always go on about London’s admittedly wonderful Daunt Books (which I visit a lot) but their frankly perverse cataloguing system prevents easy location of their stock, and the middle-class clientele who haunt the enquiry desk with oblique questions about Vita Sackville-West and the like do sometimes give me inexplicable shudders of horror. Recently I […]

Killing For Charity

Okay, not just killing but robbing, blackmailing, committing all kinds of heinous dishonests – and it’s all in a good cause. Ian Rankin introduces a collection of crime writing that’s an Oxfam charity fundraiser, featuring a compelling (it says here) cast of 27 suspects that includes George Pellecanos, Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh, Denise Mina, […]