A blog from Tonto Books, featuring musings from the publishing world and some occasional special guest appearances.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

David Peace's dirty little secret

There was an interesting interview with author David Peace in Saturday's Guardian Review section, notable because, unlike the vast majority of interviews with authors in the Guardian Review section, it wasn't a load of pretentious twaddle. I picked out Peace's The Damned Utd as my favourite novel of the year in a Christmas 2007 post and it's now getting a second wind of coverage thanks to a South Bank Show and a forthcoming movie adaptation.

Talking about his craft, Peace advocates a useful practice that we talk about on our occasional writing courses: 'When I come across a sentence or paragraph that impresses me, I write it out. I'm not sure if other writers do it, but I suspect they do and it's a dirty little secret. It is like practising five-finger exercises. I thought Cormac McCarthy's The Road was a fantastic piece of work. But the only way I could really understand how it was done was to write some of it out.' Peace also names as an inspiration Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl, which, if I'm being completely honest, is perhaps my favourite book ever.

P.S. While I remember, this Sunday, The Observer is doing an miscellany-type 'Observer Book of Books', which, if their previous books of music, film etc are anything to go by, will probably be worth getting hold of.


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