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An Evening with David Peace

‘All I think about is making the book as good as possible.’ Disregard with extreme prejudice anyone who says you should never meet your heroes. I recently spent an evening in the company of one of mine, and two weeks later I’m surprised how enthused, enlivened and filled up by the experience I still feel. If … Continue reading

Fuminori Nakamura, ‘The Thief’ (2009)

The Thief is a short novel concerning Nishimura, a young Tokyo pickpocket. He is a classic noir protagonist: a man isolated from the world, Nishimura is also reliant upon it, and very much aware of the physicality of the people around him. This is a book full of packed commuter trains, stations, shops and public spaces; … Continue reading

On Orwell vs. Amazon

Even since I started this blog I’ve wanted to write about George Orwell’s essay ‘Books v. Cigarettes’, but always lacked a way in. That is, until today; and we’ll get to the reason for that in a minute. For those not familiar with the piece, Orwell wrote it in 1946 in answer to those who … Continue reading

The McBainiad, Book 6: ‘Killer’s Payoff’ (1958)

In a series as long as Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct, it’s inevitable that some of the books will vary in quality – and whilst Killer’s Payoff is certainly no dog, it’s not as strong as some of the other earlier entries. I whipped through it in a matter of hours, which in itself is no bad thing … Continue reading