I just read two books and reviewed them with two other reviewers (more of which later) on National Radio Five today on the simon mayo programme. One of the books I absolutely hated and one of them I enjoyed. Colin Murray is the more than able stand-in while Simon Mayo’s away. One more thing, both the authors are actually in the studio while we review the book live to the nation. Oh Shit.
In The unstoppable exploration into the land of of imaginary stuff the publishing industry has struck gold. The exploration is led by Dan Brown who struck the gold with The Davinci Code. It was headline news across the world. Since then the hills have been “raped” and boreholes are everywhere. Vast tracts of land have are bought bypublishers who send out writers as explorers in search of the same vein. So tricky is the pathway beneath that only few writers truly find The CODE SEAM. Some have become lost. There are many more big digs on the horizon, one called Jamie Oliver rediscovered an old mine called The COOKERY SEAM. But there are few discoveries as new as TheCode Seam.
Whatever the case, someone who has found what is possibily a more substantive part ofTHE CODE SEAM is Sam Bourne, the Pseudonym of Jonathon Freedland the guardianjournalist who is the best selling author sat next to me in the studio. Yes we review infront of the authors who are also interviewed on the programme. Other reviewers are Joel Morris- the anchor reviewer and excellent articulator of his thoughtage - and the quite gorgeous highly intelligent one time executive editor of Elle Magazine Linda Kelsey . - the two reviewers spent so long on what is a fantastic book that I was unable to comment. We were all basically glowing in the gold, basking in the light of The Last Testament.
The book is totally formulaic and the central subject matter and goal of the story could have been replaced by any other. The writer, quite methodically and altogether skillfully, followed a line that led to the discovery. This is not a criticism as much as an observation. The Last Testament has been translated into 28 languages. I asked Jonathon to sign the book for The Journalists brother who is a fan, which he kindly did.
And then there was the second book FAITH by Lesley Pearse. This book was sobad, and so cynical and made me so angry that I could not sleep. This was not mining a rich seam of gold as much as stealing bits of gold from the poor people on the ouskirts of the imagination. This gold was then smelted down and mixed with dirt into what seemed like blocks of gold - Fools Gold. And worse still it was sold to the poorest people, to those in need of inspiration. Last night the journalist said I was talking in my sleep. “ I’m sick of it. I’m sick of it.” I shouted. She asked me what I was talking about and I replied, still in my sleep “This damn book”. The author is sat two seats away from meBut not only did I not like this book - It enraged me
THE SUFFERAGE SEAM is on that same landscape. But there is a curse. If you abuse your position in this precious mine, the stories you exploit will eat you out from the inside and all the money you make will only confirm your own unhappiness until you come clean and tell your own story which is where the true gold may ly. Ofcourse I couldn’t say that on the programme. And I am not sure I can say it here. What a predicament! You can listen to the programme if you want to listen Click Am I being hypocritical? Love to know what you think.