5 July 2008

So. The Broken World is launched. We had some very nice drinks to celebrate.
Mike Harrison (M. John) blogged about it – I only recently noticed that Mike started blogging again, at a new address. So Uncle Zip’s Window is gone, but Ambiente Hotel is just as good a place to be.

Reviews of The Broken World are slowly starting to appear – I will update as and when more come in. The best of the bunch so far is from Stuart Kelly writing in Scotland on Sunday:

“ exhilarating and poignant tale of love, loss and computer games that ought to make the leap from “cult classic” to”popular success”… The Broken World is ultimately a humane and heartfelt book, with a proper emotional core wrapped up in a giddyingfantasia. It manages to be desperately sad and desperately funny at the same time. It is a book of big ideas, cunningly delivered through a slacker’s shrug.”

So-so from the TLS, but it’s not online. And an interesting, positive one from Matt Thorn writing in the July edition of the Literary Review, also not online.

Great blog responses so far from Big Dumb Object and Marcus Gipps.

I’ve also been doing some online interviews etc. Here you can see the one from Metro, and the one for Big Dumb Object. More of these to come… will post links.. and try not repeat myself too much



1 July 2008

The alarm does not even go off but I stir anyway at 6.10 and realise I have 15 minutes to get out of the room and downstairs into the taxi. Time stretches.

In the taxi I’m barely functional – still too close to the sleep world – but as we wait at some traffic lights some way into the journey to Tegel ask about a building we are stopped near.

Is it a prison?

Yes. But for economic crime.. not murders and such.. I don’t know what you call it. White collar crime?

White collar crime.

It’s the place they kept Erich Honecker and the last politicians of the GDR.

I nod. Yeah. OK.

Then a minute later, a way along the road, I ask:

Are they all dead now, those guys?

Yes. I think so. He died in Chile, he asked for asylum there and died there.

OK. Yeah.

The next light we stop at the driver reaches for a card index box on the dashboard. Flips through it. I’m thinking that she probably checks her next job, or consults some personal info about a doctor’s appointment of something, thinking that this is a very bureaucratic taxi driver.

She looks up, slides the box back. 1994 she says. He died in 94.

I’m pretty puzzled. I wait a moment and then I ask – What’s the card index?

Thinking that it’s very weird to have a card index in your taxi that contains this kind of information.

I write things down, she says. From the newspaper. Just facts and things. Things you dont find in the guide books. Sometimes I do guided tours. So I write down interesting things. Things people might want to know.

We drive in silence for a while. But the rest of the journey I’m thinking about this card index. The kinds of things it might or might not contain.