Go West: An Interview with Jonathan Evison

Rooted in the history and traditions of the Pacific Northwest, Jonathan Evison’s West of Here rethinks the epic American novel for the 21st century. Dan Coxon talks to the author about the difficulties of selling his American vision overseas. Portrait by Keith Brofsky For a New York Times bestselling author, Jonathan Evison has remained remarkably […]

James Sallis: Drive

“…this is genre-fiction elevated somewhat by a writer who is clearly familiar with the genre that he is subverting…”

Mapping the Wilderness: An Interview with Alexi Zentner

Set in the harsh forests of the Canadian wilderness, Alexi Zentner’s debut novel, Touch, draws upon mythology as well as literary convention. Dan Coxon finds that its author is rooted in the power of traditional storytelling. Portrait by Laurie Willick. For a debut novel, Alexi Zentner’s Touch has already earned a startling number of accolades, […]

The Colour of Money: An Interview with Peter Mountford

Set against the backdrop of South America’s poorest economy, Peter Mountford’s first novel is a smart read on the human side of economic, political and ethical dramas. For the author it was also a long road to publication, as Dan Coxon learns. Portrait by Jennifer Mountford In a literary landscape dominated by celebrity memoirs and […]

The Set: An Interview With Roger Ward

Vanessa Libertad Garcia interviews actor, author and pioneer of Australian gay culture about his novel The Set In 1969, the Australian public would know Roger Ward’s face from TV shows like Skippy. Less than a year later, he would gain tabloid infamy thanks to Frank Brittain’s film based on his novel The Set. Originally a […]

Superman: Earth One (DC Comics)

Reviewed by Kes Seymour Superman is an ideal. Superman is perfect – there’s nothing that he can’t do; he will always overcome any challenge (he even managed to come back from the dead in the 1990s) and this is why people love him. But it’s also why writers have struggled to create new ‘interesting’ stories […]

Branching Out: Peepal Tree Press

Peepal Tree Press is dedicated to expanding the Caribbean library and keeping it in print. Spike interviews its founder Jeremy Poynting Working out of the Burley area of Leeds, Peepal Tree Press has been a vital hub of independent publishing for just over 25 years. Founded by Jeremy Poynting to specialise in Caribbean writing, the […]

Leader: The Group Mind and Collaborative Communities

Jason Weaver goes in search of the creative city and loses himself in the collective mind Where does creative work originate? Anybody who has worked collaboratively can tell you about the mysterious processes at play. The excitement and flow of a creative project appears psychic at times. When things are going well, serendipity seems predestined. […]

James Gould Cozzens: Morning Noon and Night

An essay by Pedro Blas Gonzalez on the pleasures of the physical book and reading James Gould Cozzens, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and writer out of time On a recent trip to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my all time favorite bookstores. I have been visiting that wonderful […]

Structure and subatomics: Don DeLillo, Underworld and the new historical novel

Jason Weaver revisits Don DeLillo’s premillennial opus of paranoia and baseball. The title of Don DeLillo’s 1997 novel Underworld alludes both to living under the canopy of the bomb and to a world beneath us, more specifically a hell. DeLillo has publicly stated that he wanted to write about the ‘secret’ history of the Cold […]

Ian Rankin – A Question of Blood interview

“…Not many punk rockers will tell you it was a copper that made them what they are today, but bestselling British author Ian Rankin is an exception to this rule. He owes his livelihood to one Detective Inspector John Rebus, a hard-nosed Edinburgh cop….”

Tony Parsons – Stories We Could Tell interview

“…The life I lived at the end of the 70s was 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – you can only do that for so long… I was glad to get out before I was 25, and happy to get out alive…”

Arthur Nersesian – The Swing Voter of Staten Island

“…Arthur Nersesian’s The Fuck-Up, in addition to having one of the best slacker-lit titles ever to have been put down on paper, has garnered something of a cult following since its publication in 1997, and rightly so… In comparison, The Swing Voter Of Staten Island is a big disappointment…”

Dan Rhodes: Gold

“…across all of Rhodes’s books, short fiction or novels, there’s a strong vein of humour closely entwined with brutality and tragedy…”

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil: George Saunders

“…Saunders manages to amuse, entertain, and shake out thought on a great variety of subjects, and does so in a subtle, sideways style which could so easily be annoying but isn’t…” Ben Granger The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil – George Saunders See all books byGeorge Saunders at Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com Someone once wrote […]

Charles Bukowski : Bukowski: Born Into This

Pedro Blas Gonzalez Bukowski: Born Into This – Charles Bukowski See all books by Charles Bukowski at Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com Charles Bukowski was a solitary man and a courageous writer. Without daddy’s money to deliver him into high places or the protective cloak of a godfather, Hank forged his way through the world with the […]

Paul Neilan: Apathy and Other Small Victories

Jayne Margetts Okay, so I listen to Thom Yorke, and enjoy reading books about people living with a gun pointed to their head. Call it entertainment, or living vicariously through others; apathy, black humour, a touch of the politically incorrect and make me laugh out loud, in these dark and here troubled times. I remember […]

Elementarteilchen – the film of Michel Houellebecq’s Atomised :

James McConalogue Atomised – Michel Houellebecq See all books by Michel Houellebecq at Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com Elementarteilchen DVD This film is terrifyingly humbling, sexually polite and bravely mundane in its philosophical exploration of the fragility pervading human love. It is packed with the warmth of the everyday trials of love and passion. This film, directed […]

Michel Houellebecq: The Possibility Of An Island

James McConalogue The Possibility Of An Island – Michel Houellebecq See all books by Michel Houellebecq at Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com “The universe is nothing but a furtive arrangement of elementary particles. A figure in transition toward chaos. That is what will finally prevail. The human race will disappear.” – M. Houellebecq, The Guardian, 2005. As […]

Alexei Sayle: The Weeping Women Hotel

Ben Granger The Weeping Women Hotel – Alexei Sayle See all books by Alexei Sayle at Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com It is wise to greet novels by comedians with trepidation. It should go without saying the qualities needed for performing comedy are not necessarily the same ones needed of a novelist, but say it I must, […]

Jack London: The Iron Heel

Ben Granger on Jack London’s neglected dystopian novel that rivals 1984 and Brave New World in its prophetic vision of the future When it comes to accolades for the most lauded prophetic dystopian satirical novels of the early twentieth century, there’s no doubting which are the big two. The hyper-Stalinist all-surveillance paranoid nightmare of Orwell’s […]

Niall Griffiths: Wreckage: Sifting The Wreckage

“…Despite having written five novels, selling thousands of books and having had his work translated into five languages, Griffiths has received little recognition in the city he was born – perhaps because of the controversial subject matter of his books…

Flipron: “Fancy Blues and Rustique Novelties”

Released in 2004, this one’s a campy, theatrical pot of alt-noir French café wallpaper and off-Broadway Rocky Horror enunciated in the Cribs-like accent of common English swine. There’s a Dresden Dolls influence at work, which could have gone without saying given the copycat environs of today’s major-label-lottery alt scene, but there are sufficient other signs […]

Suhayl Saadi: Psychoraag

“…I see little point in attempting to mimic what’s already been done very well by others. But I mean, I didn’t write Psychoraag thinking, “Halleluia! Now I’m going to write the first Asian Scottish novel!”…”

Roger Morris: Taking Comfort

Ian Hocking Taking Comfort – Roger Morris See all books by Roger Morris at Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com When the Macmillan New Writing imprint was announced late last year, a fault line developed in UK publishing. Hurrahs on one side, boos on the other. Why the rumpus? The imprint is dedicated to the publication of new […]