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February 5, 2002
The shocking truth about novels
... is that I'm reading a new one, and possibly for the first time since I lived down beside Torquay, more than two years ago. It feels good to be back.
When I left school, what I really wanted to do was write music, but that seemed too scary, or too hard, so instead I decided to educate myself and read all the world's great novels. For several years, from about the age of 19, that's more or less all I did. It nearly drove me crazy.
Time passed on; I went to university and came out the other side with a renewed interest in never reading anything ever again.
But more time passed, and eventually I got interested in reading again. But not so much in novels: I became far more interested with biographies, and books about ideas: science, history, language, even a few things about computing and the net. I wanted information about the world, and how it got to be this way. Novels weren't helping very much, so I more or less gave up on them.
What got me interested in Christopher Brookmyre's A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away, I'm embarrassed to say, is the blurb on the back: "Terrorism - it's the new rock `n' roll."
I read the first dozen pages with suspicion: do I wish to get emotionally involved with these characters, with this story? Those 12 pages have now turned into 200, and I'm reeling. This thing is making me want to have another go at my own novel.
What I love about Brookmyre's novel is that I recognise the world he's writing about. I love that a lot. And I get most of the cultural references, and I love how he uses the language and imagery of Quake and Doom. And I'm not going to say anything more, about this or any other topic, until I've finished reading it.Posted by Sean Hegarty at 11:47 PM in the Reflective category | Comments (0)
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