Thursday, 21 March 2013
thinking about the Next Day... and about James Herbert
I've been thinking about it a lot... and i've just updated my status on facebook and surprised myself by nailing *exactly* what i think about my vague resistance the new Bowie album (as well as the fact it's missing Mike Garson on piano - and really, any tinkling, extravagant campery altogether..!)
here's my sudden thought this morning...
I'm still just not getting into The Next Day. And I've been obsessed with Bowie since I was 15. I feel a little like... when the rest of the world rediscovered Dr Who in 2005. They were going on and on and i was thinking... but, but... 'happiness patrol', 'lungbarrow', 'crystal bucephalus'... just like now i'm thinking... but ... but! ... 'thursday's child' and 'strangers when we meet' AND 'everyone says hi'...! Where were you then, you sheep? you dafties..?!
James Herbert died.
He wrote the first bit of gay fiction i ever read - and memorised! A surprisingly touching chapter in The Rats, believe it or not. It ends badly, obviously, but not because they're gay. Just because it's The Rats and *everyone* gets eaten, whatever their preferences. Herbert was always surprising and wrote very much about the world we live in - which is more that can be said for many contemporary novelists.
The book of his I loved most was The Magic Cottage, which I read when I was sixteen. I might have loved it because my secondhand copy smelled very strongly of cigarettes. At the time though, I thought he was much better than Stephen King, because he was *here* and wrote about people you saw everyday.