Tuesday, September 25, 2007


INTERVIEWER: What do you remember most vividly?

REPORTER: The students singing as they were being shot. And a student, a girl, who said to me "What can they do to us? We have our whole future ahead of us, and we've seen it."

- BBC news report, 19 June 1989, quoted in Greil Marcus' The Dustbin of History

Monday, September 17, 2007


On the one hand, I'm slightly ashamed that I've finally succummed. On the other, I'm fairly proud of what I came up with.


Friday, September 14, 2007

An Occult History Of Leeds United

Tuesday saw me in Manchester to attend a book-signing by the novelist David Peace. Not having seen Peace, or any pictures of him, I was somewhat surprised by his appearance. Given the brutality of his narratives, and the fact that they're often set in 1970s/80s Britain, you might expect him to be some sort of hulking skinhead.

Predictably, this is not the case. He's a quietly spoken man, all slender physique and somewhat nerdy Japanese designer glasses (although those glasses are missing for his book-jacket photos).

Peace read extracts from two of his books, "Tokyo Year Zero" which he was here to promote, and "The Dammned United", a novel about Brian Clough's 44 days as manager of Leeds United. It was interesting to note that Peace's writing style doesn't lend itself well to being read out loud - the jump-cuts and repetitions represent the internal monologue of a character, and are much more effective when they're interwoven with the reader's internal monologue.

The question and answer session was interesting. In 2004 Peace released a novel "GB84", set in West Yorkshire during the Miner's Strike. He recalled that he was worried that there would be a glut of books that year to mark the anniversary, or that there would be at least one major non-fiction account of the strike. In the event, his novel was practically the only book to mention the strike that year.

I couldn't think of any questions at the time, but did wonder afterwards if he'd seen Life on Mars, and what he'd think of it's somewhat cosy view of police coruption.