Saturday, August 14, 2010

What is Simon Lelic reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Simon Lelic, author of A Thousand Cuts [Rupture, in the UK].

His entry begins:
Currently, most of my reading is research for my next novel. I am reluctant to reveal any specific titles, because they would immediately give away the topic and I have yet to discuss this even with my publisher. Also, I am learning I am superstitious about talking about a book before it is complete. In my mind it is too fragile - too liable to fall apart - to risk passing yet to someone else for inspection.

I am also learning, however, that despite the pressures of time I cannot not have a novel on my bedside table. At the moment, it is The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. I picked it up because I love the premise and I was intrigued by the structure. I will concede, however, that I am disappointed. Like so many novels I read these days, it seems flabby. It seems, too, gratuitous. I am no prude (my current novel, A Thousand Cuts, or, when it is published next year, The Facility, will both attest to that) but I do tend to switch off to swearing and sex when I encounter them every other paragraph. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration (though not much of one) but as a writer is still strikes me as lazy. As, in fact, does the way the author seems to drop in 'issues' whenever two characters decide to have a conversation.

Wow. I am discovering, as I write this, that I really dislike The Slap. I am sure Mr Tsiolkas will...[read on]
A Thousand Cuts (or, in the UK, Rupture) was described by The Times (London) as "absorbing, convincing and truly frightening"’ and by the New York Times as "electrifying."

Read an excerpt from A Thousand Cuts, and learn more about the book and author at Simon Lelic's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Thousand Cuts.

Writers Read: Simon Lelic.

--Marshal Zeringue