It's been a couple of months already and this place still has a brutal beauty. Yes, it can get a little cramped when the families from London stream from the train station down the Queens Road onto the beach, but the special Brighton still shines through. Bubbles floating above a dwindling crowd catching the last of the pink light of a sunset, a couple swing dancing by themselves on a bandstand, content in public isolation. The tumble of languages and laughter that soundtrack the beach campfires of the exchange students as they dance and kiss and make memories that will stay with them long into the wet afternoon of adulthood.
Admittedly I haven't done much this summer, I'm waiting to start a job and have been in hibernation mode trying not to spend other people's money in the meantime. At least it's given me some reading time, so for the lack of real world things to tell you about here's a few books I enjoyed.
A book about memory and childhood, that manages to be lyrical and dreamy, and gripping and powerful. It’s incredibly hard to stop reading once you start, difficult to tear yourself from the world within a memory he creates. Its also a book about childhood more than anything else and Gaiman's ability to occupy the mind and the logic of of a child is flawless.
The sequel to the now cult book, an incredibly self aware extension to the mythos, which is as much an examination of the success and impact of the first book as it is a compelling story in its own right. Although his first Graphic Novel Palahniuk writes with a familiarity and deconstruction of the medium that tends to be is refreshing and challenging. Of course it helps that the artist, Cameron Stewart is at the top of his game with both dynamic figure style and casually brilliant background work. Bears repeated reading.
Part of the Sandman Slim series of books, urban fantasy that reads like a stylised pulp thrillers with a whole bunch of heart and humour. This book explores identity and what the question of whether a person can really change just because they want to, and has punching in it too. Start with the first in the series Sandman Slim
The Pump House Gang - Tom Wolfe
A collection of essays and articles with Wolfe exploring the “New Journalism”. The more I read of his early non-fiction work the more I’m reminded of Hunter S Thompson, Wolfe’s style is savage observation rather than Thompson's cartoonish exaggeration and has less urgency than Thompson's work, but the template is there. Wolfe’s articles are incredibly muscular and with a lightness of touch that Thompson lacks. If you haven't already, read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
As summer draws to an end I’m also going to suggest a book I wrote, Pier Review is the tale of three men doing a stupid thing before the summer and the seaside they remember disappears completely. I’m still immensely proud of what we achieved with the book, and on reflection love it tonally. Managing to capture a mood and a place in our lives. It can be found at Amazon and most places books are sold.
If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, it's both incredibly helpful and gratifying for us as authors to receive a review on Amazon (or elsewhere) so please take five minutes to tell us what you think. Drop me a link to @probablydrunk on twitter to receive a heartfelt thank you.