Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Being Jordan

Emma Young, who was emcee at the recent World Book Night evening, described the act of moving from writing about books to actually writing books as ‘like a Sun journalist suddenly turning into Jordan.’ I’ve been trying to find a more apposite kind of comparison, but have failed. I am therefore, Katie Price – which at least makes it easy to give up masturbation for Lent.

I was prepared for little coverage, if I’m honest. There are so many books out this month, so many novels that publishers have pinned their hopes upon, so many novels that their editors and agents can only pray will rise above the sheer volume of hopeful titles. Trying to get heard over the noise is difficult; there is a danger that truly important, wonderful books (such as the stunningly, swooningly good The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier) will be left unheard, standing at the far corner of the bar, ignored by the pretty boys and girls serving the drinks. I’ve been stupidly lucky in comparison; the box format intriguing enough reviewers to unwrap the cellophane and actually read the stories.

They’ve been nice reviews too:

“Evers happily acknowledges the influence of such American masters of short fiction as Raymond Carver, John Cheever and Richard Yates. Yet, by applying the same unshowy precision to alarmingly recognisable British lives, he achieves something both original and quietly devastating.” Daily Telegraph

“Brilliantly restrained and emotionally mature, I wish this had been a packet of 20, not ten” Scotland on Sunday

“Evers's writing is sequined with sparkling descriptions, usually of urban settings or human foibles . . . haunting.’ Independent on Sunday

“The humour is black as tar. That Evers manages to sustain our interest in these wretched lives is tribute to his skill. His writing is like the cigarette smoke that suffuses it - insidious and addictive . . . This exquisite slice of Anglo-Americana deserves to be read” New Statesman

“A Swindon motel, a pub in Benidorm and a Las Vegas casino are among the settings for these wistful tales of white-collar heartache.” Metro

“Inhaling each story is a hauntingly wonderful experience . . . Moving and thought provoking, there's a beautiful delicacy to the way these tales of disaffection burn down to the filter, searing to the core of fragile human sensitivity like a butt stubbed out on the flesh.” Easy Living

‘The best pieces here have surreal flourishes and the deadpan observational eye of the chronic doorway lurker.” Time Out

“Ten Stories about Smoking is a remarkably assured collection. Evers has developed a subtle, minimalist style loaded with implication - a versatile instrument capable of expressing humour and pathos in equal measure.” GQ

“Evers’s deadpan prose shows a casual knack for getting under the reader’s skins . . . the solid construction and Evers’s confidence are impressive. His next move will be worth watching” Financial Times

And to end on Being Jordan, nothing I think will ever top being reviewed by the Daily Sport, just underneath an article entitled: ‘Boobs, Glorious Boobs’ . . .

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