Monday, 28 October 2013

A Lovely Review Out of the Blue

Here's a lovely review of 'Diary of a Dr Who Addict' from the blog of writer Marion Grace Woolley. It's a book that came out three years ago and the world has forgotten already. Despite getting a fantastic write-up in the Guardian, it was passed by completely and utterly by the world. I'm not sure how available it is now, because Simon and Schuster dumped me straight after it came out...! (I think all of the books I published with them are now unavailable (Strange Boy, Hands Up, Exchange, Twin Freaks). There was talk of e-books at one point...) It's in the same world, and involving several of the same characters as my recent radio drama, 'Imaginary Boys.'

Anyhow, getting a nice review out of the blue for a book that your publisher has consigned to hellish obscurity is rather like getting a nice surprise gift. Marion writes:

"Ah, where to begin?

When you read very late at night, it's sort of like holding a conversation when you're drunk. You feel things more deeply, you fall into stories more easily.

It was a hideously uncomfortable read. There was just too much I recognised within it from my own school years, which I recall as being something akin to cruel and unusual punishment. Everything from the house party to the way teachers can turn, feelings of exclusion to having the desire to curl up and die when 'those' conversations were taking place.

I was totally transported back in time, as The Generation Game had managed with the simple mention of 'psychadelic orange squash', an image that could only ever evoke the 1980s as the chemicals involved are undoubtedly now banned. It was like blowing off the dust on a box of memories. Things I hadn't thought about in years. A bittersweet reminder of the bountiful creativity kids have before the pituitary gland kicks in and murders imagination.

I suspect I was as bug-nuts crazy about The X-Files as David was aboutDoctor Who, and there was definitely a Robert in my life, and I definitely remember the ouch factor of discovering that shared childhood pleasures were no longer cool.

I was a bit worried that I wouldn't understand this book, because I've never watched Doctor Who, but Will said that wouldn't be a problem, and he was right. Though I'm not a complete ignoramus, and I do know what a TARDIS is, and I loved the bit:

I'm looking for things I recognise in everything I read. I want to feel at home in these books I pick up. I want them to be more familiar than home and ordinary life. I think that's because I can pick them up and carry them with me. I always have the safe dimension of the book to escape into. Books are bigger on the inside than on the out, just like a police box.

I thought that was a wonderful observation.

Even did a bit of real time travelling as I finished at 3:20am, but the clocks went back, so it was only 2:20 and I got that extra hour lie in.

Brilliant book. Also the first LGBT YA I think I've read. Where were these when I was growing up? Don't recall seeing them on the shelves at the CoE school book fete... "

1 comment:

  1. Its a good book and I'm glad I picked it up. Its a shame that it didn't make more of an impact. I'm thankful you wrote it.