Also not exactly hot off the press, but I can’t pass up an opportunity to recommend Paul Quarrington’s Civilization - (And Its Part In My Downfall).
Paul Quarrington has remarkable way of writing novels that are complex easy reading – farce that is emotionally true and often profound. You’ll laugh until you’ve got skidmarks, and feel ennobled by the experience, despite the laundry issues.
Civilization is my favourite, although I strongly endorse everything he’s ever written. He’s a genius.
Civilization is a narrative about a couple of young men who make their way west where, (after a series of trials) they become involved in the nascent movie industry. It’s extremely well-researched, and many of the characters and events are recognizable as blown-up versions of real persons, either enduringly famous or relatively obscure. (I suspect that Eve would love this book.) You don’t need to get any of the references to enjoy it, though. Oh, and there’s a naked girl in it – with beautiful bubs and milk-white skin. Surely that counts for something.
Also recommended: The Life Of Hope, in which a biblious writer named Paul takes time out in a peculiar town founded by 19th century religious extremists and goes fishing – for a possibly (but probably not) hallucinatory, talking mystical fish. Keep your trousers fastened!
You also mustn’t miss Home Game, in which a lachrymose ex-baseball star and ex-newsreel journalist acts as a ringer (despite his crippled legs for a stranded troupe of carnival people who’ve settled (literally) in town, arousing the ire of an unusual (and extremely stern and skilled) religious sect that regards baseball as a perfect divine metaphor for life, who’ve talked them into a game to determine which group will be banished from the town forever. If you’ve seen Todd Browning’s Freaks, most of the carny people will be familiar. They’re based on folks that are best-remembered for their appearances in that film – the (original, more attractive) Hilton sisters, Johnny Eck, Olga the bearded lady, etc. It’s hilarious, and much much more. And oh, the humanity.
Here endeth my plugging for Paul Quarrington.
All parties are also instructed to read everything published by Will Self, beginning with The Quantity Theory of Insanity. (Also not new, strictly speaking.)
I also will type “also” once more: