What not to write*

‘And as I sat there brooding on the world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could not fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that obscurity beyond the city, where the fields of the republic rolled on under the night.   [read more]

David Aaronovitch meets Feliks Zhukovski

The Breaking of Eggs was a complicated attempt to answer a simple question: why do we believe what we believe? When, at a February meeting of the Prospect Book Club, I heard David Aaronovitch use exactly the same phrase to describe the issue he was addressing in his new book Party Animals, I was intrigued. In fact, I was already intrigued, which is why I was there.   [read more]

The launch party for Trading Futures

So, anyway, there I was last Thursday evening, several feet up a step ladder, as one is, haranguing a multitude of friends and well-wishers, wondering if this was fantasy or reality, and concluding that it was a mixture of the two. ‘The scene’ – as Matthew Oxenhay might have said, and in fact does say at one point in the novel – ‘was a distillation of life present, of life cumulative to date.’  [Read more]