Best short story I ever read: The Isabel Fish by Julie Orringer
Don’t know about the best, but I read this recently and loved it to death.
Adolescents, smoking, alcohol, car wrecks… does it for me.
Book I finished reading but wanted my time back afterwards
‘Bridget Jones’ by Helen Fielding.
Why? Because it’s crap, obviously.
Book I would blush to be seen reading on the tube: any Harry Potter book
I once counted 23 separate Potter readers in one carriage, all over the age of 30. You may as well stick a post-it on your forehead saying ‘intellectual lazybones’.
Best ‘film of the book’ I’ve seen: The Bridges of Madison County, dir. Clint Eastwood, from the novel by Robert James Waller
Most really good books shouldn’t be made into movies. If the book’s that good, it’s reasonable to assume it was the appropriate medium for telling that story, right? Therefore a rule of thumb: good books make rubbish films. The Bridges of Madison County proved that the reverse is also true.
Most overlooked contemporary American novel: Six Out Seven by Jess Mowry
An epic tale of kids dragging themselves up through ghetto slime with a genius undercurrent of homoerotica.
Most out of date author photo I’ve seen
No idea. I don’t know many authors and never look at the pictures anyway. I don’t think my picture’s on any of my books. I don’t know what that says but I suspect it’s not nice.
Most famous author I’ve met who acted like a prat: he was at the Hay festival…
He gave it the ‘do you know who I am’ thing. Unfortunately I didn’t and still don’t. He was tall, middle-aged, with a muddy green suit and a haircut somewhere between ’90s Clarkson and ’80s Waddle. Any ideas?
My favourite bookshop: Amazon
I’m scared of most bookshops. They make me feel like I’m drowning. At least Amazon is a page at a time.
Author I’d like to see presented with all kinds of awards
Luke Sutherland, author of Venus As A Boy. Two good reasons: 1. He’s my friend. 2. He’s a genius.
Celebrity author I'd like to see beaten with a stick, then never again
India Knight was pointlessly rude about me once so there’s always the temptation of revenge. Unfortunately I like seeing her every now and then. She’s my own walking talking manifestation of schadenfreude. However bad things get, at least I will never be India Knight.