Posts Tagged ‘Books’

18171824

Simon Prichard’s well written account of his half year touring the fiestas of Spain provides a unique perspective of this colourful country. From the pub lined lanes of Benidorm to the solemn streets of San Vincente de la Sonsierra, he sought out the most interesting examples of the nation’s local festivities. Almost always religiously inspired but seldom formal, the fiestas he discovered were as varied as the landscape. The Spain he visited was not one constrained by the concerns of health and safety, he witnessed a horde of inebriated lumberjacks fell and drag an enormous tree through the streets of Pollenca and had his clothes singed by men wielding flaming witches brooms as they chased him through the streets of Jarandilla. Prichard’s style of writing is lively, engaging and a pleasure to read. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who is on the look out for their next book.

You can click here to buy it.

Advertisements

Hawthorne&Child

Well I enjoyed reading this book immensely but I really haven’t got a clue what the hell it was about. It masquerades as a novel but basically it is a collection of short stories.  It starts off (and finishes) well, with Hawthorne and Child racing to a call-out, but the intervening chapters veer off in wildly different directions.  All the time you feel that the characters and stories are connected but you can’t really put your finger on what it is that links them.

The writing is both in-your-face and arrestingly beautiful at the same time.  The voices of some of the madder characters were truly haunting, and in places it moved me a lot. But when I finished, I felt like I’d woken up after some crazy drunken night out. One where you managed to make it safely home but you haven’t got the foggiest idea how.

Twenty years from now nobody will remember the iPhone. Take it from me I know.

So if you write them into your novel pretty soon it’s gonna sound dated.  No matter how good it is, there’ll be this tiny voice in your reader’s mind saying: ‘Isn’t that a bit naff?’ It’ll be a bit like watching one of those awful 80s movies. You know the ones. They go shopping and start doing a stupid dance routine while they try on embarrassing clothes.

If you are writing fiction set in the present day it’s hard not to have your peeps checking their text messages, looking up stuff on the web or playing angry birds; but do they have to do it with a Macbook Air?  What’s wrong with using a laptop?

Okay, I’m being a bit didactic. It’s not that simple is it? The way I see it some things are acceptable and some things aren’t. Brett Easton Ellis used Patrick’s obsession with label and brand as a theatrical device and it worked. It got on my nerves but it worked; and some technology brands have woven themselves so deftly into the fabric of our lives that they are indistinguishable from other nouns or verbs: hoover, tweet or google anyone? But iPhone 4? I don’t think so. What’s that going to sound like when Apple are bought out by some small start-up from San Salvador and are renamed Paw Paw?

Harry Potter was absolutely fine zooming around on his Nimbus 2000 cos no-one’s making them anyway so they can’t go obsolete but Lisbeth Salander’s iBook 600 with 420 megs of ram was dated before the book even came out. She might as well have been wearing shoulder pads underneath that perm. You see when a character does anything else, like wears a suit or walks into a bar it’s timeless. You can either update it in your mind’s eye or you can project it back to the time it was set. But old technology? In my book that’s a bit naff.

What do you think?

I was just killing time on the internet, searching for images for a book cover when I saw her.  She’d been lurking in my peripheral vision for the last couple of years but then all of a sudden she was right there, standing right before me.  She’s a bit taller than I imagined and so much more striking than I would have ever guessed.  The question is: now that I have seen her will she ever be the same?

I’m a novice writer you see, so when I started to write my main character I sought help from a wide range of teach-yourself-to-write books.  You know the type, they said things like:

Why not write a potted biography of each character?  – Do what? That’s all very well and good if you’ve got the time but I’m writing a book you know, when am I supposed to do fancy things like that?

Well, they said, how about interviewing them? You never know they might give you some really witty answers. It’ll be a fun learning experience for both of you.  –  Yeah right! Who do you think I am? Piers Morgan? I’m too busy trying to get my character to walk across the kitchen and open the fridge without them, me and my readers dying of boredom on the on the way.

Anyway I ignored all that advice and I just carried on writing instead, which I suppose was a good thing because up until now my character has grown up nicely.  The thing is though, I only had a vague idea of what she looked like, but I do now and its causing me all sorts of worries, things like: Is the life I plotted out for her going to fit her image? Does her name fit her face? In some ways I wish I’d never seen her.