Best short story I’ve ever read
My favourites are Ellen Gilchrist and Tobias Wolff, but I have to go for Tim O’Brien’s ‘On The Rainy River’ from ‘The Things They Carried’ as best single story. It’s the one that ends: ‘I was a coward. I went to war.’ A classic.
My favourite opening line of a novel:
‘Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him.’ Brighton Rock, Graham Greene.
Best ‘film of the book’
The Godfather parts 1 and 2
My favourite novel that no-one else seems to have heard of
Stanley Middleton’s Harris’s Requiem is the best novel about music I’ve read, and I’ve read a few. It’s been out of print thirty years, but is reissued by Trent Editions in 2006. I’ve just finished writing the introduction.
My favourite novelist that no-one else seems to have heard of
I discovered Geoff Nicholson, a Sheffield born novelist now living in the US, in Ambit magazine. He writes twisted, surreal, silly, story driven, comic novels. Try Everything And More or The Knot Garden.
The book I’d most like to reread, if I could find it again
Philip Callow’s 1956 novel The Hosanna Man was withdrawn and pulped shortly after publication because of a threatened libel action. It’s a powerful, poetic novel about young bohemians in 1950s industrial Nottingham.
Best long-running comic series
‘Love And Rockets’ by the Hernandez Brothers. I only arrived at issue 24, but collected the early ones on eBay.
My favourite bookshop
My favourite bookshop: Page 45 in Nottingham specialises in comics and graphic novels. A stylish shop with great stock they know backwards.
Author I’d like to nominate for the Nobel Prize for literature
Deceased author I’d like to get drunk with