Saturday, 24 December 2011

Saturday 24/12/11

There are three writing projects that I'd like to undertake in 2012. Of course this means that I'll probably not write anything instead, but the most important thing is to tell everybody that I'm 'working on something', right?

These projects are:

a) A second novel. Working title 'I'll Always Love You Less'. This will be the usual alienation / disaffection / messed up modern character stuff I've been writing about for the last half-decade on London Preppy and in Exit Through The Wound

b) Country guide to Greece. Not a travel guide, but more country / cultural guide, scrutinising the people in the country and their behaviour. This will be non-fiction and unfortunately it will also be bitter and twisted and from the perspective of someone with severe personality disorders like everything else I write :-( I guess the end goal is to be banned from ever going back there. Not really, I just think it will be quite funny

c) Same as (b) but for the USA

The Greece one has been building up inside me for the last, say, 31 years and inspiration for the USA one has been increasing via having an American partner and having visited the country five times over the last couple of years. What can I say, I love it there, but there is also a lot of 'whaaaaaah' and I've got to put it down somewhere. It's just not fair if I don't.

I accept any large commissions / free flights / chocolates and other treats that will help me write the above whilst also having a full-time job.

Thanks, bye.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Friday 23/12/11

Maine Hudson, Chapter 40 of Exit Through The Wound:

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tuesday 13/12/11

First this:



And, I guess, a reminder of this (in two days):

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Thursday 01/12/11

When people post 'end of year' lists, they frequently comment: 'this didn't seem like a great year for music, but looking back on my list now, oh my God, it was actually pretty amazing.' And although I love a good old cliche, unfortunately I can't use this one. For me there were a handful of brilliant albums and songs (between which I couldn't decide for my absolute favourite in each category) but overall I probably was left a little wanting. All through the year it felt like something fantastic was round the corner, but it never really came. I mean, I still got four, five albums that I absolutely love, but I guess I'm greedy and I wanted more.

Overall, as a year for music I'd score 2011 with a 7/10. I'd even give 2011 a pat on the back, but that's it. I would't grab 2011 and make out with it, nor would I rape it on a dark side-street in the pouring rain raging with desire. That is not the kind of risk that I would be willing to take for 2011.

Anyway, I've split my lists into two this year (electronic vs indie) to avoid ending up with a schizophrenic Top 50 where we have Mr Oizo next to Bon Iver.

And after all this chat, here's everything.

Top 15 Albums (Electronic)

Joint 1 (and I know this is cheating). Biophilia - Bjork / Safari Disco Club - Yelle

I'm sorry, but I can't decide between those two. Bjork is someone I've loved since I was 13 and obviously means a lot to me regardless, but still manages to put out an album that is special and unique and I've listened to endlessly. Yelle has given me so much pleasure this year, from listening to the songs, to seeing the guys live a couple of times and meeting them and generally reminding me what it's like to be young and fall for a band and be excited by it. So they're both no.1, Bjork for the 31-year-old me and Yelle for the 16-year-old that's buried somewhere in there, underneath all the trauma. (I over-thought this, didn't I?)

3. Arabian Horse - Gus Gus
4. Wolfram - Wolfram
5. In The Grace Of Your Love - The Rapture
6. The Sea Of Memories - Pallers
7. USA - Surkin
8. Total - SebastiAn
9. Holy Ghost! - Holy Ghost!
10. Stade 2 - Mr Oizo
11. Within And Without - Washed Out
12. You Are All I See - Active Child
13. Zonoscope - Cut Copy
14. House Of Balloons - The Weeknd
15. Part IV - Fred Falke

Top 10 Albums (Indie/Rock)

1. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
2. England Keep My Bones - Frank Turner
3. Black Rainbows - Brett Anderson
4. Hurry Up, We're Dreaming - M83
5. Cults - Cults
6. Go Tell Fire To The Mountain - Wu Lyf
7. Pala - Friendly Fires
8. Funny Looking Angels - Smith And Burrows
9. Belong - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
10. Strange Mercy - St Vincent

Top 25 Songs (Electronic)

1. With you (ft Alexis Taylor) - Carte Blanche
2. How deep is your love? - The Rapture
3. Mutual core - Bjork
4. Crystalline - Bjork
5. Crystalline (Omar Souleyman remix) - Bjork
6. Que veux-tu - Yelle
7. I need you now - Surkin
8. Hanging on - Active Child
9. High for this - The Weeknd
10. Dial my number - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
11. Within you - Gus Gus
12. Jealousy - Tepr
13. Warm in the winter - Glass Candy
14. Helix - Justice
15. Reckless (with your love) - Azari & III
16. Crazy for you (ft Annie) - Designer Drugs
17. Come back to me - The Rapture
18. Humdrum - Pallers
19. Another day - Chris Malinchak
20. Banana ripple - Junior Boys
21. Norway (ft Sebastian) - Wolfram
22. S'etaint le soleil - Yelle
23. Arabest - SebastiAn
24. Battle axe - Tepr
25. Panutup - Diskjokke

Top 25 Songs (Indie/Rock)

1. Redemption - Frank Turner
2. Unsung - Brett Anderson
3. Blue jeans - Lana Del Rey
4. Beth / Rest - Bon Iver
5. Abducted - Cults
6. Holocene - Bon Iver
7. Calgary - Bon Iver
8. One foot before the other - Frank Turner
9. Video games - Lana Del Rey
10. We bros - Wu Lyf
11. I am disappeared - Frank Turner
12. Brittle heart - Brett Anderson
13. Steve McQueen - M83
14. Not love - Babybird
15. When the Thames froze -Smith And Burrows
16. Oh my heart - R.E.M.
17. You are a tourist - Death Cab For Cutie
18. Towers - Bon Iver
19. Cruel - St Vincent
20. Belong - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
21. Never saw the point - Cults
22. To the alps - Princeton
23. Vomit - Girls
24. L Y F - Wu Lyf
25. Exile vilify - The National

Top 5 Remixes

1. High for this (Flufftronix remix) - The Weeknd
2. How deep is your love (A Trak remix) - The Rapture
3. I <3 u so (Skream remix) - Cassius
4. Midnight city (Trentemoller remix) - M83
5. I follow rivers (The Magician remix) - Lykke Li

I would link to each song and maybe put album covers in there too, but to be honest a) I don't have the strength and b) no one cares really, so let's leave it here.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday 27/11/11

Every Friday night, there’s a show on BBC2 called The Review Show. They’ve got an alternating panel of people on, people who have other jobs too I suppose, but their job here is to be critics. So during the week they’ve given them a movie to watch, maybe a TV show too, a book to read and sometimes an exhibition to go to and then they let them loose to critique it. There’s no other show on TV that interests me and terrifies me in equal measure, like The Review Show does. I record it each week and I have to gather the courage to watch it at some point during the weekend (fast forwarding through the bits that I’m not interested in, of course, which is most films and most exhibitions). But when they start talking about the books, oh God, I get completely sucked in, but at the same time watching is so uneasy.

Whether they’re talking about an unpublished Kerouac novel or a Joan Didion memoir or something by a new less established writer (though let’s face it, for any book to land on the show it needs to have some serious publisher muscle behind it) I can’t help by wonder what they would say if they were discussing Exit Through The Wound.

As I said there’s a rotating panel, but the key components basically are:

- An middle-aged character actress of some sort who’s there to be nice about the things that are not her medium (books / exhibitions / other) and namedrop other actors who have actually made it when it comes to the films / TV shows

- One of those malformed, grey-haired critic bros whose actual job is to wear black and appear on TV talking about other people’s work

- Germaine Greer (or similar)

- A university literature professor who’s there to pick the prose apart when it comes to the book reviews and analyse it as if they’re talking to a room of post-grad Lit students they’re fed up with

All of the above actually stress me (though the lit professor most of all, naturally) because they really go for it. They discuss book content, style, motivation, effect; they discuss the authors, their lives, their worth. They don’t necessarily always say mean things, most reviews are mixed if you take an average across the panel, but the fact is that everything is discussed in detail. And to be honest although there is a part of me that would kill for my book to be on there (BBC EXPOSURE, PPL) another part knows that I could never watch it, if it were.

So, I’m not sure exactly how Exit Through The Wound comes across to anyone out there. Being a first-time writer with a very small publisher means that it hasn’t got picked up for review by any major streams. In terms of actual reviews there has been one on QX magazine and one on the So So Gay website, and from what I understand there will also be one in Esquire magazine in a couple of months. From there on, I’ve become aware of some online reviews by individual bloggers, like Sam Downing or Jimmy Bramlett. There are several favourable reviews on Amazon – both US and UK – and there are also a few on the GoodReads website. Now if I also take the next step of googling my name and book title I also come across a couple of messageboards where people are discussing me, but in reality they’re not discussing the book, they’re just discussing London Preppy, the character they think I am and, in summary, how I look really shallow and stupid and self-involved and therefore my book must be crap. (Just an FYI for the people who think that side of my online presence a reflection on Exit Through The Wound, hey, did you know how many NEW books come out each year in the UK? Around 200,000. And in the US? Around 290,000 [thank you, Wikipedia]. So my direct competition of newly-published books this year in my two biggest markets are about 500,000 and if me taking my shirt off and posting a picture on Tumblr makes me stand out even a tiny little bit and causes even two more people to look up my book, I’m gonna do it bro, sorry).

So yeah, I guess I wanted to say all this in terms of Exit Through The Wound reception. In reality, I know that reading reviews of your art / work is not really beneficial and it can fuck you up big time. Plus it really shouldn’t matter what other people think (unless every single person tells you that it’s really shit, in which case perhaps you should sit down and have a think about it, but thankfully this hasn’t happened).

Point is that I’m at a stage where I’m planning my next book. And though I don’t really know what those guys at The Review Show might make of Exit Through The Wound, the feedback I’ve got from regular peoples, like, seems to be pretty good. And I’m thankful for every single person who has messaged me or seen me and told me that they read it and liked it. And I guess we’re allowed to move forward and plan the next one, right? I think we are.

(Please note, ETTW has only been out for 2 ½ months and I’ll be spending the next year promoting it; I have events / readings booked for several months ahead, I’m not about to give up on it, but in my head I have to be prepared to write a second one, this is what this post is all about).

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Wednesday 23/11/11

Right, here are the details of the event in LA in a couple of weeks. There will be a 'meet and greet' (everyone loves these social situations and they are not awkward AT ALL, right?) I'll read a bit from the book, maybe for ten minutes or so, and then we can all go home. How about it?

Monday, 21 November 2011

Monday 21/11/11

Thanks to everyone who emailed about the ETTW cover art. It will be making its way to Denver, Colorado this week to be united with its new rightful owner.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Thursday 10/11/11

These are the events / readings I'm doing in November / December.

Please come...if you wanna.

Wednesday 16th November - Polari at Lo Profile LONDON

Info:

"London's peerless gay literary salon" pops down to Lo Proile.

Hosted by Paul Burston with authors DJ Connell, Timothy Graves and Jonathan Kemp (pictured), who have all been shortlisted for The Polari First Book Prize.

Plus North Morgan, reading from his debut novel 'Exit Through The Wound'

Free entry

Link: Polari at Lo Profile

Thursday 17th November - Limehouse Books Birthday Party LONDON

Info: Birthday Party with Rock, Roll, Poetry, and Maine Hudson. To celebrate the survival of Glass/Limehouse Books to a second anniversary, we will be having our very first gig.

Free entry

Link: Limehouse Books Birthday Party

Thursday 15th December - Reading at performance space LOS ANGELES

I'll post more details on this when I know them. Just as a heads up, it will be a reading as part of an arts centre's Lounge Reading Series. Please come if you're based around there. I don't think US events will be happening very often at this stage.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Monday 07/11/11

I like this quote that someone wrote about Exit Through The Wound in an Amazon US review:

"Exceptionally funny, while also being an absolute downer"

It makes it sound like perfect Christmas reading material:

Outcome A - If the holiday season is bringing you down and you're feeling a little depressed, ETTW will push you over the edge and lead you to an early demise, perhaps by turning the gas on and sticking your head in the oven [via Sylvia Plath]. Though if you do that, it is advisable to seal the kitchen door with a wet towel to protect other members of the family who will be enjoying their sherry in adjoining rooms - there's no need to be a complete jackass and take them down with you.

Outcome B - if you like the holiday season and are particularly cheerful around Christmas, ETTW will provide you with some additional LOLZ

Anyway, here's another excerpt from the book. This is from chapter 3.

I've read this at a couple of events and nobody threw anything at me, so I'm going to assume that it went down well.



This is the Monday after the weekend and on this Monday, I opt to go to work, for no other reason apart from I have to. Had I chosen to stay and live in Athens, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have to go through this daily torture. My brother is 27 years old and he’s never had to do a day’s work in his life. I, however, am being punished for choosing to live abroad, a choice which my parents have decided to take as outright aggressive, part of a spiteful plot to hurt them and send them to an early grave. Hence, they’ve decided to only pay for my rent and bills while I stay in London, forcing me to have a job for my other living expenses. This, of course, is terribly unfair and it cuts me up inside. Not enough to move back to Athens, mind.

As a job, I have chosen to under-perform daily in a central London business consultancy. My full title is Associate in the Media Sector, and I’m not sure exactly what that involves, but I think it has a lot to do with turning up every day, emailing my colleagues Danny and Harper who work there with the same vicious abandon that I do, and occasionally interacting with clients who should know better than to pay me for my so-called services.

I got this job soon after I finished my MSc in European Public Policy at UCL, which I only took on just to delay getting a job another year (and it seemed like a good gateway to living in London). My first degree, a BA in Medieval and Early Modern History from Durham University was just about as useful as it sounds and it only served its purpose as a means for my Mum to show off to her friends. Admittedly, pointless Arts degrees do sound quite impressive and I’m not going to pretend I won’t push my children into something similar; if nothing else, just for the prestige. Any degree that’s practical or pragmatic or actually useful indicates that you need the work it’s likely to get you, which is as unattractive a concept as I’ve ever heard.

It took me just a couple of months in my current job to realise that working in an office is a wonderful thing, if you want to lose your self-respect and dignity nice and quickly. I estimate that people who work in an office doing something as tenuous as ‘consultancy’ die inside approximately 34 years earlier than people who have other, meaningful, worthy occupations.

In my brief office career, I have come across two types of people: those who don’t give a toss, and those whose lives are otherwise so empty that they do. The latter group is usually made up by people who are good at this. I’m not very impressed – being good at your office job is about as admirable as being good at wearing a hood and pointing out members of the resistance to Nazi officials in Germany circa 1939.

People who like working in an office get a huge sense of accomplishment and gradually develop a very smug, superior attitude. I come across those people occasionally. My boss’ boss, Jonathan, once mentioned in casual conversation that he gives ‘100% to everything he gets involved in’ (verbatim). I find it very hard to take in such a concept, considering that I haven’t given 100% cumulatively to everything I have ever gotten involved in grouped together.

In my lovely office, which occupies a provocatively gigantic building just off the Strand in central London, some people go into work early and leave very late, in order to impress their manager and benefit from future promotions, pay rises, bonuses, etc. The last time I had to play games like these, where I tried to appear busy in order to deceive somebody who held power over me, was when I was 11 and I had to run, open a textbook and pretend I’m doing my homework every time I heard my Father come home. I am not pre-pubescent anymore, so I won’t play along.

Soon after I started working there I realised that in an office environment, the variety of topics you can discuss with your colleagues in a social manner is both very limited and predictable. Having had a lobotomy will help you answer questions such as: ‘Any plans for the weekend?’, ‘How was your holiday?’, ‘How did your client meeting go yesterday?’ and ‘Have you got any annual leave left?’ for the millionth time in a manner that’s friendly, neutral and non-offensive. In fact, perhaps lobotomies should be offered upon joining my consultancy instead of the usual pension scheme contribution. I know which one I’d benefit more from in the short-term.

I do know of a three or four former colleagues (of the same Graduate intake as me) who tried to break free after deciding that their current role was not fulfilling, so they tried to get out of it and pursue a career change. Three months later, all these people found themselves working in a different office down the road for a rival consultancy, still wanting to kill themselves, but earning £10k less.

In the mornings, as I walk in my office, I often recall the Smiths’ lyric about looking for a job, finding one and still being miserable. But this does seem awfully pessimistic. It’s not all that bad. I try to keep in mind that working in an office will only take up – on average – 9 hours a day for 43 years of my life. Then I will suddenly be 67 and I’ll have the rest of my life ahead of me to do whatever the hell I want.

I’ve worked here for just over two years, but I think they regretted employing me right about the second week. I don’t see this as a personal failure though; I blame my lack of work ethic on my upbringing. When I was younger, every time it was mentioned in conversation that a friend of mine had got a part-time job after school or college or even University, Mum and Dad would sneer that theirs must have been a poor family, that they had to resort to pushing their kids into child labour, that it’s generally an embarrassing situation to find yourself in. Consequently, the lesson I took away from my parents was that work equals humiliation. And in terms of lessons that I’ve learnt I’m not willing to ever let this one go.

[...]

On this Monday morning, I walk through the revolving glass doors, take the lift up to the 6th floor, lower my eyes to the floor and walk to my desk. The beginning of a good day is one where no one says ‘Good morning’ from the moment I enter the building to the moment I sit on my chair. Today has been awesome so far. I turn on my laptop, open Outlook, ignore three client emails and make the executive decision to prioritise an email from Danny, a workmate I actually like, who joined the same time as me, is sitting three desks down and is one of the few people in the office who’s making my work ethic seem unbeatable. Danny has written:

‘Have you seen the video of the guy who was killed last February at the Olympics? I’m about to watch it on YouTube.’

‘Wait, somebody was killed six months ago at the Olympics? This is huge. I need to turn on that TV more often.’

‘Yes, I’m watching it now. It’s horrific.’ ‘Is there blood?’

‘No.’

‘OK. I’ll watch it anyway. Link?’

He sends me the link and a few minutes later I write back:

‘Right. You had made it sound worse. You don’t really get to see anything.’

‘Well, how often do you actually see somebody die?’ ‘Every day; when I look in the mirror.’

I spend the rest of the morning locked in the bathroom talking to Sadie on the phone and then back at my desk reading Wikipedia entries on Albert Camus, Melissa Joan Hart, the TV show The Big Bang Theory (which I’ve never seen), Kelsey Grammer, Franz Kafka and Coca Cola Zero, which brings me to 1255, so I head out for a walk. During this walk, I listen to the album Elastica by Elastica in its entirety whilst pacing up and down the Strand and eventually go back.

In the office again, and while I’m actually busying myself with some work-related tasks, I receive the following internal group email from Luan, extravagant South-East Asian and self-appointed social secretary. Luan tells us:

‘Hi Guys,

due to popular demand I’ve provisionally booked the Charlito restaurant on Friday 17th September at 7-9pm. If you haven’t been before it’s basically a mix of Mexican, South American and Spanish food in a fairly lively atmosphere. Can you let me know if you’re keen so I know how many people to confirm?’

This email, which has gone out to all 45 people making up my department, is obviously hilarious and needs to be analysed in depth, so I look over to Danny’s desk and – disappointed that he’s not there – start to email Harper instead, who’s sitting at the other end of this open plan office.

I write:

‘“...fairly lively atmosphere”, I hear’

Harper replies:

‘Exactly. I’m definitely out. That’s like saying someone is fairly sexy, it just doesn’t work, does it? Other examples: “He is fairly suicidal”

“She is fairly pregnant”’

Then I write:

‘“He is fairly paralysed from the waist down”

“She is fairly a bitch”

“He is fairly shocked to his core”’

Then Harper writes:

‘“I’m fairly having a mental breakdown”

“Their marriage is fairly on the brink of collapse”

“He is fairly willing to die for the love of his life”’

Then I write:

‘“He is fairly in love and regretting the rest of his life so far and all the choices he made”

“They are fairly married”

“She is fairly lobotomised”

“She is fairly dying to see her boyfriend”’

Then I get bored of this game, plus I think we’ve killed it a bit, so I write:

‘Hi Harper,

I wanted to ask you:

What were you doing on this date, at this time last year?

What were you doing on this date, at this time two years ago?

What were you doing on this date, at this time three years ago?

Oh, you were sat at the same desk doing the same thing, you say.

I just wanted to check.’

Harper lives in Whitstable, a small seaside town in Kent, which makes her total commute per day approximately two hours each way. She has worked here two or three years longer than me, but she recently got married and rumour has it that she’s about to hand in her notice to stay at her lovely seafront home and prepare to start a family. This is the lamest excuse for quitting your job that I’ve ever heard, not that I blame her one bit.


Buy the book:

Amazon US
Kindle US

Amazon UK
Kindle UK

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Thursday 03/11/11

Hello. This would be an Exit Through The Wound competition. And by competition, I mean I was clearing some shelves and found this thing that someone might want to have if they've read the book and liked it, etc.

It's a printout of the final proof of the ETTW cover art.

It's basically a - relatively thick - piece of paper, it measures 30 x 42 centimetres and it looks like this when a person is holding it standing next to a cricket bat:



I'll date and sign it, stick it in an envelope and post it to you and from then on the choice is yours. You can tear it up and throw it in the bin, you can frame it, you can burn it and inhale the ashes, do you what you like.

So if you fancy it, send an email to london.preppy @ gmail dot com with your name before the 20th November. THAT'S A SUNDAY.

I don't really expect more than 0.8 - 1.3 people to be interested in this, but just in case and so that we have a way to distinguish between any 'entrants', please include the reason why you want this in your email. That's all.

I'll get back to the 'winner' (term used very loosely) on the 21st to ask for your address and post it.

All right then.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Monday 24/10/11

Thanks very much to Australian blogger / writer Sam Downing for this review of Exit Through The Wound:

LINK

I particularly like (and appreciate) these quotes:

"It’s a blackly, laugh-out-loud funny book, one of my favourites of the year, I think, but parts of it made me want to stand on the edge of a building and go completely limp in the hope that I’d fall to my death without having to go to the actual effort of jumping off. (This is a very appropriate suicidal urge in response to this book.)"

"The novel unfolds in 40 short chapters – almost like a string of short stories, really, in which Maine blankly endures his existence. Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or dumped by the love or your life is equally important, or minor, as having a stranger yell at you on the tube. Like Seinfeld, Maine is obsessed by apparent trivialities, “apparent” because these unimportant moment fill the bulk of our lives, and his observations of society’s absurd characters – office gossips, creepy gym-goers, vapid acquantainces – are sharp and hilarious."

So yes, thank you.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sunday 23/10/11

These are my favourite songs from the last couple of months aka Songs of 2k11 Part 5 (Sep-Oct). Links to listen, where available.

Songs from previous months here:

Part 1 (Jan-Feb)
Part 2 (Mar-Apr)
Part 3 (May-Jun)
Part 4 (Jul-Aug)

And so, this time:

1. Mutual core - Bjork

Well done, Bjork

2. Blue jeans - Lana Del Rey

I can see this going very wrong very quickly and I expect that I'll pretend I don't know / like this person within a matter of days [via Robyn] but for now, these couple of songs are good; almost as good as the lips

3. Humdrum - Pallers

This is a great album, say, if you liked Gus Gus this year too

4. Video games - Lana Del Rey

See point 2 above

5. Sacrifice - Bjork

<3 Bjorky

6. Helix - Justice

Kinda crappy album with way too strong soft-rock / 70s influence for my liking, but at least we got Helix out of it

7. Wicked - Pallers

I like this bit of the Pitchfork review of this album: "Not only is Pallers' music exquisitely beholden to the 1980s, the duo's songs are also lyrically obsessed with gazing backwards. In their melancholic Scandinavian way, Pallers find a way to ache about every kind of reminiscence. They can conjure up an old mistake or missed opportunity and wallow in regret, yet just as easily fixate on a moment of bliss from the past and then mourn the fact that it's gone."

8. Hanging on (white sea remix) - Active Child

This is a remix of the best Active Child song that appears as a bonus track on the album and it makes the song more 'dramatic', if you're into that sort of thing

9. Ace of Hz - Ladytron

This came out ages ago, but I heard it as part of the album now and just decided that I like it

10. Steve McQueen - M83

I can't pretend I've listened to the M83 album in full, because it's too long and I've got many other things to do (twitter won't refresh itself obsessively) but I have heard this track and it is quite good, so there we go

11. Virus - Bjork [can't find link]

Be patient. You'll like it in the end

12. Shake - The Whip

I like this, but I also don't quite see how it contributes anything to the year 2k11

13. Audio, video, disco (para one remix) - Justice

I guess this remix is a bit more shebangsthedrums than the original, which is an improvement

14. Mirage- Ladytron

I like some of the new Ladytron album, but overall it suffers from the usual dreamy / up-in-the-clouds production that Ladytron albums have suffered from since 2005 :-(

15. Cruel - St. Vincent

I'm told that this has a good video too, but I suspect there's violence in it and I just don't want to watch it

16. Everything to me (christian strobe remix) - Lips

I don't know where this came from, some blog somewhere, and I guess it's good enough to occupy position 16 in part 5 of the best songs of 2k11 [via scraping the bottom of the barrel]

17. How deep is your love (A Trak remix) - The Rapture

I love this song too much and most likely all the remixes that will happen of it

18. So close to paradise - Elite Gymnastics

Riding chill waves [via added breakbeat]

And I'm so, so sorry that I have to add the following three songs, but I just can't help it. You can listen to all the Biophilia album tracks and M83 remixes you can handle, but sometimes only a cheap pop song with dated beats can make you happy :-(

Unranked:

All fired up - The Saturdays

The Saturdays have probably been going for five years or something, but this is the first song / video of theirs of hears / seen, and I'm happy to leave it that way tbh

Play with me - Eleni Foureira

You must watch the 'performance' while listening to this, otherwise there is no point. This woman is a completely slutty predator type, who will strut up to you wearing a leotard and high heels, fuck you, rip your head off and walk away. I don't know why this makes me so attracted to her. It's probably a good thing I'm not into women, because I if I were I would only going after women like this, which would result in eternal unhappiness.

Break me - Nicko

Greek Justin TimberLOLake with subpar Black Eyed Peas beats from three years ago. Which part of this description doesn't make you want to listen to it?

Bye now

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wednesday 19/10/11

All I'm saying is that there's a review for Exit Through The Wound in this week's QX magazine, written by David McGillivray, and this review ends with the following:

"Morgan captures with sharp accuracy and acid humour the cadences of email and text messaging and the instability of the iPhone generation that communicates without communicating. But maybe he's achieved even more. Is Maine Hudson the new Holden Caulfield? Is Exit Through the Wound a 21st century Catch in the Rye? Time will tell."

I don't care how overblown this is, I don't care if the one and a half people who have been reading this blog for the last five years just to leave mean comments message me to ask whether I wrote the review myself or if I gave David a hand-job (answers: I didn't and I didn't; I don't even know who David is)...things like this make me happy. Be happy for other people's happiness. Sometimes.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

I'll be posting some songs for October / November by the end of the week. See you then.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Tuesday 18/10/11

Well here's a Time Out interview from, um, this week's Time Out magazine.

Link's coming up, it's coming up, it's coming up...it's dare.

In this interview we discuss:

How the blog started
Ma book
Bret Easton ELOLis
'The Greeks'

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sunday 09/10/11

And while it might be considered slightly uncouth to copy here 'gushing reviews' of Exit Through The Wound, we all have a book to sell and we've got to do what we've got to do.

So here are some Amazon reviews for Exit Through The Wound. And I didn't even write all of them myself. But how many did I write*?

*Jk. I didn't write any of them

"While I am not completely convinced that is 100% fiction, this is my favorite novel of the year. North Morgan's cast of twenty somethings and their combination of trust funds, tedious mid-level office positions and late nights in London has a way of making you feel somewhat terrible and somewhat positive about your own life all at once. The latter of which I found quite refreshing.

The main character, Maine (not intended to be purposely redundant), last name Hudson, is self-absorbed, self-critical, self-medicating and an expert at ruminating to the point of exhaustion. He is his own personal hard slap in the face. Despite this, or perhaps as a consequence, Maine is also an excellent observer of individuals and the resulting commentary is very funny. There are one hour love interests, exasperating colleagues, party people, tube riders, street walkers, creepy gym members, elevator companions, cloying family members and friends of convenience. There are also long term friends, colleagues who save him from himself from 9-5 and Sadie, his love interest / obsession (what kind of love isn't?).

Yet even amongst his closest companions there is profound loneliness throughout which appears to be as debilitating as it is sought after. This novel is clever, touching, gloomy, funny and very entertaining. I will definitely read it again."

"North Morgan's debut novel, Exit Through the Wound, is a definite recommend.

For me, he captures the spirit of a certain young, urban generation; we're materially wealthy but spiritually bankrupt. We have fun when the music is on and the drugs are working - but there's a nagging voice that tells us that there must be something more to life. We're aware that we're far luckier than we deserve to be but we're pissing it all away anyway.

It's also extremely funny. Morgan is a skilled observer of behaviour - the incidental characters in the book are instantly recognisable, without being clichéd. I cracked up at passage describing the overly talkative female work colleague and I loved the email and text exchanges.

I can tell if I've liked a book if the characters are still present for me once I've finished it. I still think about Maine. I wonder what he's up to and I hope he's taking care of himself."

"If Billy Fisher had caught the train to London (and somehow ended up in 2011) the result might have been something like this hilarious novel. Much like Billy, Maine Hudson's self-awareness just about balances out his Heculean self-absorption and he's a hero that's every bit as addictive as the prescription drugs that fuel him. Maine's self-inflicted #mylondonhell excesses and #badlifechoices are brilliantly described and I swear that you can probably get high from reading this novel. It's also funny as hell and (particularly) if you're young and you live in London, this novel gets you. The style reminded me a bit of big beasts like BEE, Joseph Heller and Salinger, but these influences pretty quickly fall away. I read the book in one sitting and now I need to detox with something less rocket-fuelled like Murder At The Vicarage. Just Terrific."

"One of the best books I've read this year. You get inside the main character's head and you start living his life. Even though not everyone will identify with the circumstances described, it's impossible not to relate to Maine on a number of levels. There's a particular scene at a train station, which the novel seems to build up to emotionally that almost had me in tears. A complete page turner, I couldn't wait to see how it ended. I could easily see a movie adaptation of this. Moving, intelligent and witty, this is a great modern novel."

"A fantastically addictive read. North's endearing and comedic prose is truly entertaining and sucks you right into believing that you are in his head, waiting for the next thought to express itself as you turn the pages of his story. A great read and a purchase that you are very unlikely to regret. Already looking forward to reading it again and the next helping..."

"Impressive debut novel that has you drawn in from the off. Clever character interaction and astute description brings alive the on-the-surface mundane routines of young Londoners obsessed with finding a way out. It's an escape from the real world into a reality that while obsessive, shallow and habitual, will leave you identifying with the frustrations and emotions of those wanting to express themselves where the mainstream is looking to conform."

"I learned a lot from reading this novel. Mainly the names of a whole variety of uppers and downers I have never heard of. At times it was like reading a chemistry text book. Drugs are an integral part of the plot though as they shape the main character's life and mindset as he lives a bizarre form of London life unrecognisable to a native Londoner like me. The book describes a hedonistic world where money is no object, set in a city where money is all most people think about, (for better or worse). There's something reminiscent of American Psycho or Black Swan about this novel - you end up living in someone's head for a few hours and inhabiting a strange world where morals and rules have no meaning. I think I may have finished the book slightly high myself. You're unlikely to feel sympathy towards the deliciously spoilt main character with his privileged lifestyle - the subject matter certainly won't appeal to everyone's tastes - but the author's candid and unique writing style will have you grinning and raising eyebrows in equal measure. The work email exchanges actually made me laugh out loud. All in all a thought provoking, addictive, unusual, and intensely written first work. Well worth a read. Preferably while sober."

"I thought I'd read a few pages and then go out... and ended up reading the whole book in 3 hours! I could not put it down. Feels like you are being let in on a secret world. Awe, jealousy, disgust, neediness, joy, sadness, buzz... every page gives you a new mood, a new feeling. If you really wanna know what life feels for a normal Londoner... this is not it. This is special. Find out for yourself..."

"I hate North Morgan. London Preppy. Whoever the hell he is. He crafted a wonderful piece of prose that embodies all aspects of the disembodied drones that go to work, come home, rinse, lather and repeat day after day. It's a work trying to break away from the confines of disillusionment, cynicism, resignation and monotony while being absolutely hilarious.

What's fascinating was how seamlessly the blog fit into a narrative form. Gone were the daily tracking of what outfits were worn. Gone were the text message dispatches from a night of clubbing. Some characters were moved around notably All American Girl who is now Sadie. But reading the string of words page after page, what made the blog an enjoyable read was still there."

So, say, if you wanted to buy this thing, you have the following options

1) If you're in the UK, you could walk into a book shop and ask for it. Foyles on Charing Cross Road is a highly recommended option, but you'll have to look around for it a bit first because I go in every day and move the copies they have in the alphabetised Fiction section to the Highlights right at the front, the Staff Recommendations, the upper reaches of the Fiction Chart...whatever I feel like each time.

2) Paperback from Amazon UK here: Amazon UK link

3) eBook from Amazon UK here: Amazon UK Kindle

4) eBook from iTunes UK (eBook from iTunes US out later in October)

5) Paperback from Amazon US here: Amazon US link

6) eBook from Amazon US here: Amazon US Kindle

7) You can get a signed / dedicated copy if you order directly from the publisher here:

Delivery in the UK


Delivery in Europe


Delivery in the rest of the world


Ugh. That's EVERYTHING.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sunday 02/10/11

The main problem with having built a personal brand as an enfant terrible is that when the youth is gone, all that's left is a terrible old man [via twitter]

15/07/07


01/10/11

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Thursday 22/09/11

Regardless of how things go with Exit Through The Wound (which is out now and you should go buy it, obviously) I think I will start working on a second novel in January next year. I have an idea in my head, which I'm obviously not going to get into, but I also have a title. I'm going to post the title here now, so that it's mine and mine only. Forever.

My second book will be called:

I'll Always Love You Less


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Thursday 15/09/11

On Tuesday at 1637 I send an email to Sadie and this email says:


“Hello. HOW’S EVERYTHING?”


At 1652 Sadie replies:

“Everyhung (I'm not exactly sure how to interpret this misspelling but I'll keep it and think about it) is as it should be I guess.


It's still grey here. Out of all of the places to live in the US I have managed to source out one of the most grey and most foggy. Commenting on when the fog will roll in / recede is part of the general everyday conversation around here, which in my case means to myself.

Have I mentioned that about 85% of my monthly workload at my current job involves projects where I read through, analyse and report on thousands of verbatim comments made up of 100% complaints? All complaints, bitching, moaning, whining, threatening, swearing. 'This has been the worst experience of my life' / 'you have ruined my life' type complaints. So I read through these and work with these one by one, day after day.

As you might guess I quite enjoy it.

Last week was my birthday. Funny thing about your novel; it mentions the birthday where I was texting you drunk in the pub. I was trying to remember which birthday that was, being alone drunk in the pub, but it was actually several so no way to pin that down I guess.

How are things with you then?”

At 1712 I reply:

“I’m very good, thanks for asking. I have never done so much statistical analysis in my life as I do now. I work out formulae repetitively, mindlessly, endlessly, and – you guessed it – I love it.

At least the good news is that I’ve just bought an ice cream maker. It’s sitting right next to me now in its box. What flavours would you recommend? And why do you think it is that the only flavour idea I’ve had (and have been obsessing about since) is ‘bread’?”


At 1720 Sadie replies:

“So you have become an expert at statistical analysis and I have become an expert at grouping complaints. I think we have done well for ourselves, finally.

Wow that's a big step, ice cream maker. There are so many things you could do with this. I have heard of chocolate bread pudding ice cream.

Meanwhile, were you aware that there is a used copy of your novel for sale on Amazon.com for $117?”

At 1727 I reply:

“I’ve been waiting a long time to meet my fate (being slowly killed by Excel formulae) but I feel I’ve finally arrived. Same goes to you.

Amazing idea. Perhaps my first one SHOULD be chocolate bread pudding ice cream. Chocolate bread and butter pudding does appear in Exit Through The Wound after all. It would be fitting.

Yes, the $117 copy is the one I jerked off on.”

At 1746 Sadie replies:

“I would definitely do chocolate bread pudding ice cream then. Let me know how that turns out. Photos please.

You could easily charge $193.”


Amazon UK


Amazon US

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wednesday 14/09/10 Part Two

Launch party pictures; I guess










Wednesday 14/09/11

Dear London Preppy reader, have you bought / read Exit Through The Wound? What did you think? london.preppy@gmail.com

Monday, 5 September 2011

Monday 05/09/11

Launch party for Exit Through The Wound

This Thursday (8th September) in the upstairs room at Charterhouse bar in Farringdon, central London from 6.30pm.

I'll be signing copies, we'll be playing music in the spirit of the book and if I get sufficiently bullied by my publisher, I might even go on the stage for twelve seconds and mumble some words whilst looking on the floor.

Feel free to come. Thank you



The book is officially released on the same day.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sunday 04/09/11

These are my favourite songs from the last two months. This endeavour is also known as Best of 2k11 - Part 4 (July/August). There might be some leftover songs from previous months that have grown on me. SORRY

I have posted clickable links for all the songs on YouTube.


"Björk with a taste of Asia Minor? What could be better for someone like you?" said my Lamestreamr Boyfriend. And he was right (for once)

2. Unsung - Brett Anderson

This is the first track on Brett's fourth solo album and most probably the first good song he's released as a solo artist

3. How deep is your love - The Rapture

I don't trust people who don't like this song

4. Crystalline -
Björk

Yes, the original Crystalline is also great. Which is more than can be said about the other Biophilia songs I've heard so far :-(

5. Jealousy - Tepr [Sorry, I can't find this on YouTube. I don't think enough people care]

Best Tepr song EVAH

6. Over - GusGus

This is a great album and I only discovered it, like, three weeks ago even though it probably leaked back in March. I'm so embarrassed

7. Come back to me - The Rapture

I don't know what the deal is halfway through the song when you think it's finished and then comes back worse, but anyway the first part is good enough to place the song here

8. Brittle heart - Brett Anderson

Well this is quite good, I guess


I should probably give the Active Child album more of a chance because it sounded quite good when I sped-listened to it, but I haven't had time this weekend as I went to my (straight) best friend's wedding and spent time getting completely drunk and re-enacting the rolling-on-the-floor-in-wedding-dress choreography Madonna did at the 1984 VMAs in front of lots of speechless relatives when the 'wedding DJ' played Like A Virgin

10. To the alps (cinema remix) - Princeton [I couldn't find this remix on YouTube so the link is to the original]

I don't know where I found this entry-level minimum impact blog mp3, but I like it

11. Deep inside - GusGus

More from the GusGus album that I wasn't cool enough to appreciate upon online circulation

12. Midnight city - M83

This is good for now, but perhaps that weird sample/instrument that's repeated throughout will get a bit tedious after a while

13. Within you - GusGus

GusGuszzzzzzzzzzzzzz

14. Under your spell - Desire

This sounds completely DIY. But in a good way

15. Far nearer - Jamie xx

I kinda hated this when it first came out two months ago [via loose structure and overuse of steel drums] but it's grown on me. Maybe I've got soft as I've grown older. Maybe I had dreams that got shattered and I gave up a little. Maybe I'm compromising, giving up on every standard I had previously set for myself. But you can't sit there and say you haven't done the same

16. Animalia (Lifelike remix) - Voltaire Twins

A Lifelike remix is a Lifelike remix

17. Sail away - The Rapture

The third best track on The Rapture album

18. Crash about to happen - Brett Anderson

The third best track on the Brett Anderson album

19. Echoes - Washed Out

The whole Washed Out album is very good. I guess I can't tell the songs apart though, so here's one chosen at random

Bye now

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Thursday 25/08/11

Ad for Exit Through The Wound. It's out in two weeks from today (Thursday 8th September). Sorry if it seems like I've been going on about for the best part of the last decade.




Friday, 22 July 2011

Friday 22/07/11

This is Glasshouse Books' newsletter for August.





Exit Through The Wound by North Morgan


Dear Reader,

I first met North at the Polari launch party for Boys & Girls, in July 2010. I think it would be fair to describe him as a shy man, he was so petrified by the prospect of reading from his short story 'Exit Through The Wound' that a friend stood in for him. It was on that night, however, that I told North that if I was only ever going to publish one novel, it would have to be by him. And now those words are almost a reality, as North and I are just waiting on final corrections from the proofreader on his debut novel, Exit Through The Wound.

A few people have asked me why and how I only commission. There are a range of answers, some of them prosaic and business-like (I am indeed trying to make Glasshouse a profitable business aka not go bust) but the main instinct is pure instinct. With North, I could see huge potential in his short story, which in some ways is a very early sketch of what Exit Through The Wound is, but more than that I could see what an affable and personable person he is, one with a sharp sense of humour. A few people have also told me that he is very good looking. I believe in empiricism and am awaiting proof on this.

But seriously, my belief in North was validated a few months ago, when I started reading the first draft of the novel. This is no hyperbole: it is one of the funniest and unflinching novels I have ever read. You instantly bond to the narrator, Maine, and drift along with him from nightclub to work to commute to the arms of the woman he loves. For me, there are hints of Vonnegut in the bleak humour of it all, plus a touch of Bukowski in the brevity. It is a novel with its heart in America, hence the cover, but its soul is truly European, couched in a sense of self that is philosophical without ever being pretentious or manufactured. It just is.

I expect that North will spend many an hour explaining to people what the title, Exit Through The Wound, actually means. Here I am going to proffer my explanation. And North, you must forgive me on this, as I am about to refer to Greek myth. For me, the title and the novel captures the broken heart of my thirty something generation, where we are each in our own ways Prometheus bound upon a rock, an eagle gnawing on our liver, only for it to grow back and start again the next day. An economic, ethical and creative crisis have held us back. But all we can do is laugh about it and carry on.

I hope you will buy Exit Through The Wound so you can share in what is an amazing debut from an author with a bright future ahead of him.

Kind regards,

Bobby

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Saturday 16/07/11

Today, we have three things to get out of the way.

First thing:

Here's the second extract from Exit Through The Wound. I'm posting a video of me reading the first few paragraphs of chapter 17 and also copying the actual piece below, because you will probably not understand my accent. I sure don't.

On Tuesday I decide to go to work (trying out something new I guess), so I find myself on the tube listening to my iPod, and when ‘That’s When I Reach For My Revolver’ by Mission Of Burma turns into ‘Suicide Is Painless’ by the Manic Street Preachers on shuffle, I pretend this did not just happen, this is not just another sign telling me to fling myself under the eastbound Central Line train and, undeterred, I continue my journey into the office.

After a week away my inbox is full of client emails asking me to panic about inconsequential things so I duly ignore them and read the most recent message from Danny instead, which arrived only a few minutes ago: ‘Oh I see you made it in. You’ve been away for so long that I thought I’d never see you again. I won’t lie to you, I was starting to panic, especially as this is also Harper’s last week. In fact, I was so convinced I’d be left alone in this office that I spent most of yesterday writing obituaries for the two of you. Would you like to see yours?’

‘No.’

‘Maine Giannopoulos was born to a man and a woman on the 8th December 1985. He never knew his parents as they lived in a different wing of his house. His best friends growing up were Mehmet, a Turkish servant- boy, and Angelos, a friend visible to Maine and Maine only. Mehmet and Angelos took turns humouring Maine and his already nonsensical whims. Maine spent the early part of his adolescence performing stereotypical Greek activities such as growing facial hair by age 10, buggery and being the mooching scumbuckets of Europe. Maine’s life was transformed in his mid-teens with the discovery of ‘Britpop’, which turned a previously happy-go-lucky individual into a sullen manic-depressive. It was here that his Anglophilia began. On his 17th birthday, Maine met his parents for the first time and informed them of his plans to move to England. There, he transformed from a socially awkward, skinny sour-faced, asexual brat into a socially awkward, well-built, sour-faced drug addict. Other changes included metamorphosis of his name. On the day of his death (caused by a misunderstanding between him and squeeze ‘Sadie’ over the correct safe word, resulting in Maine’s suffocation inside a gimp mask), Alexandros Maine Giannopoulos (as his Greek family knew him) was officially known as Alexandros Maine Blake Hudson. Maine was never professionally fulfilled: he pursued a fruitless career in business consultancy when his real life aim was to work on a street corner in Lower Manhattan dealing hallucinogenics.’

‘That was hilarious, congratulations. You’re wasted here, although I suppose it’s not bad going getting paid – even the miniscule amount that you do – to sit at your desk and type gratuitous fantasy. Now tell me, what else did I miss?’

Second thing:

Here come the pre-order links. I’m signing all copies pre-ordered from the links below. (If you want. If you don’t…go crazy, I’ll leave yours unsigned).

Pre-order for the UK (£6 + &2.50 for p&p):


Pre-order for Europe (£6 + £3.50 for p&p):

Pre-order for rest of the world (£6 + £4.50 for p&p):

Third thing:

We’re having a launch party for the book on Thursday the 8th September in London. You know what? You can come if you like. It’s at Charterhouse Bar (38 Charterhouse Street, Farringdon, London) at 1830.

Bye now