Let me tell you about one of the greatest writers of our time.
I blogged about Gonçalo M. Tavares’ novel Jerusalem a couple of years ago, describing Tavares as “peerless”. An over the top description maybe, but having read one of his books, I was of the opinion that I’d finally encountered the perfect novel. I’ve now read all four of the books in his “Kingdom” cycle – a loosely connected series exploring similar themes – and remain convinced that Tavares is a writer like no other.
These four books can be read in any order. For me, Jerusalem makes a great starting point as it’s gripping enough to hook you straight onto the others. The ultimate Tavares novel is Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique, described by the publisher Dalkey Archive as “another chilling investigation into the limits of human experience, mapping the creation and then disintegration of a man we might call “evil,” and showing us how he must learn to adapt in a world he can no longer dominate.”
The Illumination is one of those books which someone is bound to turn into a film one day and completely ruin it. Who could resist the opportunity to combine true to life human stories with some cool CGI? If I had a hundred million quid to hand, I’d make it myself.
I’m not against adaptations, but some books will only ever work on paper, and unless Alejandro González Iñárritu gets his hands on it, The Illumination will remain one of them.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, read it before Alejandro does.
Lochlan’s short story collection, Ambi & Anspi and Other Stories can be downloaded for free from www.philistinepress.com. For information on Lochlan’s other stuff, visit http://lochlanbloom.com.
Who are Ambi and Anspi?
Ambi and Anspi are names dreamt up by a small girl trying to understand a world that is too strange for her to fully comprehend.
Who are your influences?
I’ve always been interested in fiction that that attempts to describe things that are somehow ‘beyond’ the everyday world we know. One of the most powerful uses of fiction for me is to allow us to grasp at something deeper when we describe events and as such its often as little as a line or a paragraph that makes all the difference. A few authors that can achieve that sense for me are: Kazuo Ishiguro, Paul Auster, David Lindsay, Franz Kafka, Michel Houllebeq, Christopher Priest.
How would you describe your writing process?
Keep banging my head against the keys until something feels like it’s working its way out.
Your short story, Metamorphosis, retells the famous Kafka tale from a different perspective. Do you think readers need to be familiar with Kafka in order to appreciate the story?
I would hope it stands on its own but I would also encourage anyone to read Kafka if they have not already….
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
I am but it’s under wraps for the moment.
How do you feel about non-profit publishing?
I think any author’s first aim should be writing something that they are proud of and that connects with readers. As such non-profit publishing is an excellent way to get your work out there but having said that if anyone wants to write me a cheque, I’m not going to stop them 🙂
First of all, it’s great to be launching a new book through Philistine Press – our first in over a year. It’s a short story collection by the hugely talented Lochlan Bloom.
Ambi & Anspi and Other Stories is described as: “Six starting stories, blending everyday life with horror, suspense and a touch of Kafka.”
Download it for free here.