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
2. Unread
3. Depressed
4. Aspiring novelist
5. Fan

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
Gavin's blog

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gavin has noticed your "pseudo-review". He's a self-Googler. How many copies do you think he has sold? 300? 48? Can't think why you would draw attention to him.

Madame Arcati said...

Because he's there.

A Publisher said...

If Dazed & Aroused really is a literary novel then it will have to sell about 2,000 copies at least to keep the publisher warm. Then again I notice this novel is out in paperback so I'd double that figure as a basic threshold.

Rory said...

I've just ruined a perfectly decent flight by reading this nonsense.

It's written in the style of a provincial sixth-form English student imagining a world he's only ever seen on GMTV. Worst of all are the dreadful attempts to use literary devices like a proper grown up...

Referencing "The Beautiful and Damned" as if the work is even faintly comparable?

Writing the passage where the narrator is using coke with absolutely no punctuation ever not once at all because that's how fast everything is moving in my terribly exciting life?

Truly awful.

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madame Arcati said...

Dear Rory, Oh what a shame. Still this does tend to embed my view that novels are best talked about rather than read. I have had hours of fun just gazing at a book cover (see my Diana/Tina Brown review) wondering what it might be like. Naughtily I may dip a little but I have only to encounter a word or two of clumsiness, or a line of dialogue tainted by Tarantino (perhaps), or just a passage of what passes for realism, and I close the book, seeking refuge again in the covers.

Is it possible that making fiction is a rather primitive activity for all the prose tricks? I wish I knew.

I looked at your website Rory and was fascinated. All those flights and hotels! I detest airlines that fail to supply lemony wipes.

Gavin James Bower said...

http://dexterity97.blogspot.com/2009/09/sobs.html

Anonymous said...

Is this a humor piece? If so, well done.

"Like most people these days I hardly ever read fiction."

Yes, that must explain why Amazon, Barnes & Noble (or all book stores, for that matter) and all publishing houses stay open. They're just there for a laugh, as no one buys, much less reads, fiction.

However, my favorite part comes later:

"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."

You're obviously very arrogant, so it seems worthless to point this out. What the hell, I'll do it anyway. You are arrogant.

More importantly, you underestimate that talent is only a tiny part of finishing a novel. It takes determination, more than anything.

That is probably why Mr. Bower is a published author getting press coverage (see today's Sun.co.uk -- that's how I found my way to your blog) and you are just another blogger among the millions.

Green is not a good color for you, Madame Arcati.

I don't know much about you. This one post alone has stopped me checking out the rest of your blog entries. So can you point me in the direction of your published novels? If you're not published, I await your first novel eagerly. You make it sound so easy, after all! I'm sure it shouldn't take you more than a few weeks.

Cheerio for now.

Madame Arcati said...

Of all the blog joints in all the towns in all the world, you walk into mine.

Anonymous said...

Just met the man himself - love him! Not up himself, quite prepared to talk to old ladies, not to 'important' to attend a small book swap in aid of a good cause.

10 out of 10 for Gavin!

That's why it's worth drawing attention to him - anon!

Also his book's a good read.