Thursday, August 27, 2009
Gavin James Bower: Nice bod, what about the novel?
Gavin James Bower
Gavin James Bower is helping to sex-up the world of letters with his debut novel Dazed & Aroused. Its themes and terrain - fashion, vacuity, coke, superficiality, runways, Kate Moss - resonate nicely as Bret Easton Ellis generational updates while playing shrewdly on universal media preoccupations. The PR mega-plus - that he himself is a former high fashion runway model and looks it - must have caused a ripple to pass along Quartet publisher Naim Attallah's perineum: beauty and literariness is a romantic and potent mix in the world of Snipcock & Tweed. It may spell profit but mostly it promises psycho-dramatic glamour.
If you can't find it then invent it - hence Katie Price.
All this may seem most unfair on Gavin. He has after all written a novel, and one that's enchanted a few critics by all accounts. There is a grave suspicion he can write and tell tales. I put it like that because I cannot be certain I shall ever read Dazed & Aroused.
Like most people these days I hardly ever read fiction. You read the reviews and author interviews and perhaps the chapter excerpts on Amazon (if any). You ask people at parties about the author in question and the troops at the front (the "readers") spoon feed you a view. That view then gets repeated by you until it becomes a quotation in a review of the author's subsequent work. Copies may be sold but how many get read cover-to-cover?
I stopped reading modern (literary) fiction when I realised I was more intelligent than most novelists, knew more about life than they do, wrote better than most of them, was blessed with greater human insight, didn't need to kill time and have found more productive ways of getting through the day, and tend to mentally rewrite (improve) the work-in-hand as I go along . Most of the people I know who read modern fiction tend to fall into one of the following:
1. Professional reader
4. Aspiring novelist
There's nothing wrong with any one of the above. But it's as well to know your market. I think Gavin will do very well. I am happy to tell you that I think his novel is probably quite entertaining, judging by the reviews. Being gorgeous-looking is no literary demerit - F Scott Fitzgerald looked fuckable in his prime - a great many novelists share a certain pulchritude up to the age of 31. Please feel free to use my hearsay in future reviews of Gavin's work. Here, I'll give you a quote: "The British heir to Bret Easton Ellis".
Interview with Gavin
Buy it if you dare