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.

1 comment:

  1. The most annoying time to be a Bowie fan was 2002/3 when people like Jonathan Fecking Ross came out of the woodwork as 'massive Bowie fans' because he'd released a half decent (boring) album and started doing his hits again in concert. Forget the edgier less popular stuff like Outside or (whisper it) the first Tin Machine album, the celeb fans wanted to hear Bowie sound like an older, artier Coldplay - and that sucks. The Next Day is OK - three or four brilliant songs and quite a bit that sounds like it should have been on Reality. But at least Bowie isn't doing interviews or 'intimate gigs' for celebs.