Archive for May, 2011

Strange Affairs, Ginger Hairs, Neil Leigh

From 8pm (UK time) today we’ll be talking about ‘Strange Affairs, Ginger Hairs’ by Neil Leigh.

This time, to give the discussion some structure, we’ve got some questions. Don’t feel you have to answer the questions – you can discuss any aspect you want to – but if you do answer one of them it would be great if you mention which question you’re answering in your comment. Hopefully this will help people who comment after the initial hour session.

A general reminder – the main idea is to discuss the book as a finished thing. We’re aiming to discuss what’s interesting about the books as they stand, rather than hold an online workshop or critiquing session. If the writer asks for critical feedback that’s fair enough, but bear in mind that the discussion is in the public domain and readable by anyone.

Some questions to get you started:

1. What’s the tone / genre of this book in your opinion?

2. Which character(s) did you like and can you say something about them?

3. What do you think the setting of the novel (geographical or otherwise) contributes to the story?

And for those who haven’t read the book:

4. On his blog, Neil asks how far writers can stretch the facts about a real place before it becomes a fictional place. What do you think?

Here are the first 100-odd words of the novel:

I awoke, and my first thought was (I‟m going to kill myself!).

It was not a desperate thought, just pragmatic – I couldn‟t be bothered to get out of bed.

 I stared at the ceiling and trailed my thoughts around a swirl of Artex. A minute passed, during which I did not die.

(Hmm, I guess this suicide thing requires a whole lot more effort.)

 I had no method for this rather random intention, other than a prerequisite of it being a painless and unnoticeable process.

Another minute passed, as did several.

You see, I had a general fear of death; a fancy for melodrama; and it was giro day.

See you at 8


Next book, 9th May

After a break for the bank holidays, the next Yet-to-be book, ‘Strange Affairs, Ginger Hairs’ by Neil Leigh, will be talked about on here from 8pm UK time, Monday 9th May.