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

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wednesday 13/07/11

The dedication and acknowledgements for Exit Through The Wound are as follows:

Dedication
To Llwyd and Carrie

Acknowledgements

Danny for having no social life while I was writing and for inspiration. Mum and Dad for letting me do what I want, most of the time. Elina for unbounded sibling support. Neil for writing a blurb that summed up the novel much better than my failed attempts. Richard for proof-reading my manuscript before anyone else had seen it. Dean for being second. Will for being a sounding board for my half-formed ideas and variably successful jokes. Paul for discovering me and turning me from a blogger to a published author. Bobby for facilitating this and believing in me. Andy for all the help and communication. The five people I consider to be my best friends. Most of all, London Preppy readers for creating the momentum that helped this book become a reality.