Friday, 4 December 2009

Clearing the decks

I feel a bit like I've shown you my morning wood the day before there's any chance of us getting it on. Peaked too soon might be deemed to be on the grandiose side, but the fact is that I've put the wheels in motion on an admittedly ludicrous project and, as I've said I won't be starting until the new year, this blog is a bit like one of those "In Construction" pages people put on the pages of their sites they haven't got around/couldn't be arsed to do.


So, I'm left with two options.

1. Let it go stagnant for the next month or so, only updating the bibliography as and when I find the books lurking in charity shops or jumble sales etc.
2. I could do a bit of background on why I've decided to set myself this project/mission/"spirit walk" as some sort of prologue to the blog proper, more about why I've chosen Stephen King and tell the tale of acquiring the books.

Now, I am acutely aware that blogs are the most self-aggrandising, piss in the wind, auto-fellatory, faux-significant entities in the cosmos. So don't ever think that I think this has any real importance. It is merely the best way for a few friends who think this is an ok/terrible idea to keep tabs on my deteriorating grasp on reality and see how I write, or just which new words I've learned recently, but haven't figured out yet how to use properly.

So, I'm going with option two. I'm going to offer some prologue or introduction before I get my head down for the long haul.

The sole reason for not having launched straight into Carrie the moment I dreamt up this project is twofold, and yet really the same thing twice.

I had a couple of books out from the library that I'd already renewed twice and thought I'd better just read (Battle Royale and Sin City Vol. 2 - A Dame to Kill For) and I've also bought a few books recently that I'm really looking forward to reading. It's all just clearing the decks. I'm always buying books, in the hope that I'll find the time to read them. Some can more patiently stare at me from the shelves for the next few years, but there are a couple that I insist on reading before I begin my King affair.

Here they are

American Gods - Neil Gaiman
2666 - Roberto Bolano (if any one knows how to get the ~ over the n on here, please let me know. I hate to be rude.)
The Devil in Amber - Mark Gatiss
Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky

The first two are books that I'd wanted to check out after seeing Ryan McKenney, singer for the band Trap Them mention them on his blog - There's a shred of correlation here, as reading McKenney's blog was one of the catalysts for me starting this project. More on that in the next post.

In the throes of my fledgling excursion into reading graphic novels, I had a go at Sandman. I failed. Considering the boundless praise on the back of the volumes they had in my local library at the time, I was a bit perplexed to not make it past the first ten or so pages (I'm sure I'll give it another go). As always, when I read an author new to me, I go down the wikipedia route and find a bit more about the person who has just taken me on that wild ride. In this case, it was a search to see what I had missed. I reasonably concluded that I must have something wrong with me if I don't like Neil Gaiman. So I bought American Gods to allow him to convince me.

I'm not sure about 2666... From the heft of the tome and the comments I've read about it's readability, it may cause cracks in my skull and, considering how I'm hoping to motor through these before I start into King, I've a feeling I'm echoing the implausibilty of the project as a whole in thinking I'm going to get through it in a month, nevermind the other three.

Mark Gatiss' second book should be a steady jaunt. I've a strange fondness for him from his League of Gentlemen days and his turn in the middle episode of Psychoville was sublime. He can also write an erudite, crafty and gentle tale.

I've had designs on reading some Patrick Hamilton after reading Dan Rhodes -, one of my favourite authors opine, on his greatness. All these years later, I buy the book and then come up with a plan to exclude him from my consciousness for another 3-5 years. Brilliant.

So, after all that thinking out loud, I'll leave 2666 for the time being. Maybe my mind will be so fucked when Stephen King's had his way with me, it'll be like reading a Ladybird book...

Oh, I'm also only 1/5 of the way through The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Double shit.

The sooner I wrap this up, the sooner I can knock these off and clear the decks.
Luckily, I know that no one is waiting with baited breath for this blog...

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