“…imagine a book club for blokes?”
A punch-line from my show Eclipsed – performed two years ago at the Edinburgh festival. It got a big laugh each night but out of context and without its set-up, I am conscious that it won’t raise even a smile here in print.
A brave way then to begin a blog extolling the virtues of my new novel.
Plus the line is quite possibly sexist – by modern sensitivities anyway?
But then again, I am unsure whether men can suffer sexism – male privilege now being a thing?
However, it is indisputably, a generalisation and these are always lazy and best avoided. Albeit, in my experience, it remains true, that few men I know are not big readers and especially so in this digital age and diminished attention spans. Unlike, lots of women I know who devour novels. Hence the above joke and why it makes people laugh.
Take my very good friend Lawrence. Married. Dad of four. Businessman (shopkeeper). Great sportsman. More friends than John McCarthy (an oblique reference, I know). Lawrence reads only one novel every year. On holiday. And usually following the masculine exploits of a certain Mr Reacher.
I spent a considerable part of my last holiday wading through Lethal White by Robert Galbraith. A 650 page tome – wittily referred to as – “Thick book, thin plot” by a disparaging reviewer on Amazon and I am afraid I agree. I resented the last 500 pages and I really should have put it down.
I write this now as the holiday (reading) season is upon us, assuming we can take-off that is, given the impending industrial action. I hear on the news this morning that amongst the striking workers are the Heathrow fire fighters and I am sure that given the choice of taking our one holiday of the year (already bought and paid for) – and departing from an airport without fire crews on duty, that practically all holiday makers would take their chances.
But back to our holiday reading and the reason for this blog – which today is more plea than post.
This week I published my sixth book and fifth novel, I, Gabriel.
A deliberately short book at 200 pages. Less is more. And more because it is so accessible at just a days read and unlike some of the airport doorstops that ruin your hand luggage. And despite it’s length, dare-I-say-it, I,Gabriel still packs a punch. And it is unisex! A novel for both mums and dads.
Unisex? I am not sure whether unisex is an acceptable word these days or even a thing.
How out of touch I must be – like my character Gabriel as he encounters his epiphany.
In fact I,Gabriel is so short, that dads of the like I consort with can dispense with it quickly and still have time for the latest Reacher outing with Jack metering out broken jaws and then bedding the nearby beauty. The stuff that paunchy dads daydream about and why not?
I,Gabriel is not available at any airport, train station or high street store.
After my stuttering book launch this week, I am heartened that it has been reviewed already – and positively so – and anyone doing the same or sharing this post – my thanks also.
Happy reading and happy holidays.