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 clich├ęd. 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