After spending most of May preparing my novel for Jonathan Cape’s open submissions month, I ‘m currently torn somewhere between relief at having sent the thing off, and absolute fear that someone out there might be reading my sweary-nonsense right this minute and slowly shaking their head in disgust and horror. Still, that’s their problem, not mine – I just write the filthy philosophy. One way or another, I do feel a bit less pushed for time now the manuscript has gone off so I’m hoping to have a productive June. As well as cranking out a few reviews, I’m also ready to start planning my next couple of writing projects in more detail, and thinking about persuading an agent to take me on.

So, what to read in June? Well, I still have Lord of the Flies outstanding. In fact, if my feeble memory is to be trusted at all, I think I started a review at one point so that shouldn’t be too tricky a task. I also read Laurie Penny’s extended essay Cybersexism last week while doing some final background reading to ensure my own novel wasn’t too far off the mark, so wouldn’t mind sharing some thoughts about that this month too.

Let’s see, Alex Garland’s The Coma was also mentioned as something that might prove a useful reference point for my own writing, so if I get a chance I’ll pick that up. As the title suggests it’s a novel from inside a coma, possibly. As time and experience distorts, neither the reader nor the protagonist can truly tell if they are experiencing reality or fantasy. From the synopsis it reminds me a little of The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro, although it’s about half the size.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that me and a friend are trying to read Ulysses this summer. We’re less than 100 pages in and I’m already a bit fed up of it, but that’s probably because I’m a complete cretin (and haven’t read any explanatory notes on it yet). Tantrums about its inaccessibility for terminally stupid people aside, I suspect a lot of my reading time over the next few months will go to Joyce’s mind-bending behemoth. Your sympathies are kindly sought.

Notable Posts from May