There is a burgeoning subgenre of the techno-apocalypse, with William Gibson and Philip K Dick being the most obvious examples.
There is also that nebulous thing, “the novel of ideas”, books like Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea, or The End Of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas or Nicholas Mosely’s Hopeful Monsters.
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I came to Bond early, thanks to a review of, I think, Live and Let Die by Raymond Chandler in the Sunday Times. As early as 1965, Muriel Spark had a title in mind for a new book. The novel itself, however, would not appear until 1973, much changed from its original incarnation, as Spark herself would confide during a 1970 interview with the Guardian newspaper: “I’m so interested in the present tense that I’ve redone a book I’ve been working on for three years, The Hot House by the East River, and put it all in the present tense.” The present tense gives the illusion of immediacy and veracity – this story is happening right now, in real time.
Ian Fleming was the paper’s foreign manager, and Chandler was a friend of his, but that’s no reason to think Chandler’s approval insincere. The persistence of foxes – that totem in Hughes’ own work. Spark had used the present tense to good effect in The Driver’s Seat (1970) and Not to Disturb (1971).
Ron Butlin’s 1987 novel The Sound Of My Voice might have vanished without trace, but for Irvine Welsh hailing its genius.
The book encompasses reportage, observation, natural history, poetry and basically anything he glances upon.
Is Elsa then a Peter Pan figure herself, whose shadow has not been sewn back correctly?