Sunday, 3 July 2011

what is the best first novel you have read recently?

It is interesting you ask. I have just loved Boxer, Beetle by Ned Beauman. To repeat things I'll definitely have said earlier, I think the fetishisation of first novels is annoying, because they are seldom best novels, because if people keep practising at things they get better, but that doesn't mean I don't get why it happens, because human nature, novelty, etc., and it doesn't mean I don't often really enjoy first novels for said reasons. (I have a human nature.)

It's about lots of things happening in the mid-1930s. It's really fun. This is a review of it that made me read more reviews by the reviewer, because, quite apart from anything, she quoted the three lines I remembered best ('She had so many freckles that Erskine wondered if she might have stolen some from other children'). Her reviews are jolly good. I haven't read her (main) book because I was put off by the black edges, but on the back of these reviews, I will.

(Low activity on blog because of high activity on tuna book, and Warhorses, and the first Tall Tales podcast, and a short film, and the next Tall Tales, and a luxurious summer barbecue. You must just live with this.)


Anonymous said...

Recently read a load of Scarlett Thomas in the British Library. Various reasons. My friend Liz loves her, but if you do read any of her books (particularly The End of Mr Y, PopCo and Our Tragic Universe) let me know whether you get the impression she's a massive hippy and homeopathy advocate, or the precise opposite. I cannot make a decision one way or the other.

[Word verification: fooks. Your blog is channeling Liam Gallagher today.]

Jenny Davidson said...

Teju Cole's "Open City" is excellent - you would not know at all that it was a first novel!


Robert Hudson said...

Open City now on list. Tuna book about to go to publishers. If they like it, then you'll get your chance in 2013. Twenty. Thirteen. I mean, I like a bit of suspense as much as the next guy, but I saw the run printed last time and it took an hour.

(Dear Jonathan Cape: I love you and I know why the process is so slow. I am allowed to wish the world were otherwise.)