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'Time Out' -- good news -- 'Mother London'.

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  • 'Time Out' -- good news -- 'Mother London'.

    Dear all,

    It doesn't look like anyone's mentioned this yet, so I thought you might like to know that M.M.'s 'Mother London' came 3rd (out of 30 listed) in a poll of Londoners' best-loved books, as voted for by readers of 'Time Out (London)'...

    ...below Martin Amis's 'London Fields' & 'Charles Dickens's 'Our Mutual Friend'...

    ... but above Peter Ackroyd's 'London Biography', 'Hawksmoor' (10th) & 'The Clerkenwell Tales' (20th), the -- um -- the 'A-Z'..., Evelyn Waugh's 'Vile Bodies', Virginia Woolf's 'Mrs. Dalloway', Michael de Larrabeiti's 'The Borrible Trilogy', Joseph Conrad's 'The Secret Agent', Zadie Smith's 'White Teeth', Vikram Seth's 'An Equal Music', Julian Barnes's 'Metroland', Iain Sinclair's 'London Orbital', 'Downriver' (15th) & 'Lights Out For The Territory' (21st), Nicholas Royle's 'The Director's Cut', Elizabeth Bowen's 'The Heat Of The Day', George Gissing's 'New Grub Street', Sam Selvon's 'The Lonely Londoners', Jonathan Raban's 'Soft City', Angela Carter's 'Wise Children', Monica Ali's 'Brick Lane', Muriel Spark's 'The Ballad Of Peckham Rye', Colin MacInnes's 'Absolute Beginners', B.S. Johnson's 'Albert Angelo', Arthur Morrison's 'Tales Of Mean Streets', Jake Arnott's 'The Long Firm' and Jean Rhys's 'Voyage In The Dark'.

    Best,


    John.

  • #2
    Well, congratulations to MM! Could you post a link to the full list, if it's on the Internet?

    *too lazy to do a search*
    You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

    Comment


    • #3
      Which book would the inhabitants of Goosebay, Canada, elect as their favourite then ... "Mother Goose"?

      Oops, too silly, sorry :oops:

      Anyway ... Congrats!
      Google ergo sum

      Comment


      • #4
        Congrats Mike! Rightfully acknowledged; alongside Dickens no less. A wonderful book!! Pyat series to win prizes next??

        JohnDavey: I havn't forgotten about the cds. Am still planning on sending some your way. Still need to rip and burn, or buy Nero for the computer. Also planning an order for near future. All Best...MJR


        TheAdlerian: JohnDavey can certainly get you a copy. I'd let you borrow mine, but the binding is in poor condition and it's my only copy. Gotta keep it in the shrine
        \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

        \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

        Comment


        • #5
          Very nice. Of course I shouldn't be listed above Woolf, Conrad and the A-Z, but there it is. It's a favourite book poll, not a best book poll!
          Yes, it's a shame the book isn't available in America at the moment. My US agent had an offer for a mass paperback edition, but felt it should come out again in hardback. We'll see. Meanwhile the mass market's available via John Davey... It's a bit depressing that almost all my ambitious literary fiction is out of print in the US. The problem with an obsession with categories, I suppose. It's not just a US problem, however. The publisher of Pyat was upset to find the books in the sf section. The problem with this is that most sf readers aren't interested and most general fictionreaders don't look there. The bookshops which list authors simply alphabetically rather than by genre are my favourites, anyway, but too few choose that method. I long-since gave up arguing with publishers and booksellers about publishing certain fiction, which frequently ANNOYS the average sf and fantasy reader, into that market.
          The reason I left Penguin, who were doing the Cornelius books, was because they insisted on selling Jerry Cornelius as sf. It's no more sf than it is spy fiction -- that is it draws from both but frequently for very different reasons than the forms its using. Ho hum. I love Mother London getting attention, I must say, since it's a book which was a deliberate celebration of my home city and life and remains the book for which I have the most affection. It contains some of my favourite characters, though I don't remember Elric being there (as he makes a guest appearance in the Cornelius Quartet). Elric remains my favourite
          fantasy creation!

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #6
            I could be wrong, but I think it's as cheap and safer to order via John Davey, but if you find Amazon easier, of course, it is a good way to get the books which aren't available in the US (almost all of them at the moment!). I hope you enjoy Mother London!

            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

            Comment


            • #7
              Congratulations, MM. I've never been to London, but Mother London made me feel like I knew parts of the city as intimately as I knew parts of Josef K (who I think I've told you is probably my favorite of all your characters). For what it's worth, I felt much the same way after King of the City.

              Adlerian--I think you'll love this book. Your background will help you have lots of fun with the three main characters and their stories. It took me about 75 pages to catch the rhythm of the writing and the novel's structure, but my patience was deeply rewarded.

              Comment


              • #8
                Confessions of an Amateur Lit. Critic

                Back around the time it came out, I managed to persuade the publishers to send me a review copy and wrote a review that got published in a well established anarchist publication. It was a glowing review, I might add, as I thoroughly enjoyed the book and thought that it was one of the best things Mr M. had ever done.

                Some of the readers were a bit suspicious of the review and even wrote letters, speculating that it was some sort bare faced advertising trick. It was actually the result of a broke student's ruse to lig a free copy of a book he particularily wanted to read. It's nice to see that my opinion of just how good Mother London was has been proved correct.

                :D

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ordinarily, in the "Books you have enjoyed" thread, I've avoided reviewing any of Mr. Moorcock's books. Most of the people who frequent this site are already familiar with his work, so there's no need to spoon-feed them.

                  With Mother London, I'm tempted. It's not just one of his best; it's an exceedingly fine novel -- really, really good. And (in the U.S. at any rate) it's sadly underappreciated.

                  Does it rank with Virginia Woolf or Elizabeth Bowen or E. M. Forster? I don't think the book is uncomfortable in their company. It might be Mr. Moorcock's equivalent of Ford's The Good Soldier (does that make the Pyat books his Parade's End? )

                  The Elric volumes and The Final Programme and The Ice Schooner and The Black Corridor are good books, and I read them with pleasure. Mother London is something more.

                  So if you haven't already read it, go get a copy! No, you can't borrow mine.

                  LSN

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                    I'm sure that I'm missing something obvious, but who is John Davey and how can I order from him. I would rather give him the business than Amazon.
                    John Davey is Jayde Design - there will be a small advert for him on the left side of the page, at the bottom. He is quick and has a very extensive range of Moorcokiana :)

                    Ken
                    Ken Boorman
                    ************
                    Purveyor of the Runestaff and Stormbringer Legends
                    ************

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's a very kind assessment of Mother London. I'm can't 'rank' it myself (except against books I regard as inferior! :) ) but my admiration of Woolf and Bowen is intense and if I came close to them I'd feel I'd done something worthwhile. I also admire Ford, whose reputation is growing again (as it should). Actually, the book was very well reviewed in America but the publisher (Harmony) had just been taken over by Random and had no advertising budget. The publicity person in charge was about twelve and had no idea what to do with the book. We actually had big bookstores asking to do signings and a woman in Houston offered to put on a party for the book at one of the main stores there. The publicity person said 'nobody reads in Texas' and wouldn't do anything to co-operate. I was travelling around the US myself, at my own expense, and it wouldn't have cost them much. A great disappointment, since the book had a great send off in New York
                      with an event, for instance, with George Plimpton at the Algonguin. After that, however, the whole thing fizzled out. It appears to have been a decision of Random House. The book does require a bit of patience on the reader's part -- many people echo Doc's view that you have to give it some time before it starts to roll. I didn't know any other way of writing the book, which uses an unconventional method because I was anxious for it not to seem like one of those 'chronicles' which offer the reader a slice of history (there was a novel called London which did this a few
                      years later, for instance) from Roman times to the present. I made reference to London history, which I assumed the reader would know or would want to know, but didn't want to bog it down in 'research' detail.
                      Historical references, for instance, are in the chapter headings, pub names and so on. I owe Brompton Cemetery in Brompton Road a lot,
                      as I do other cemeteries I visited, walking back and forth across London.
                      Downriver by Iain Sinclair is another book I'd recommend highly. Also very dense and original.

                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's good to hear that you're an admirer of Woolf. I once was thinking of asking a question about her here on MWM, but now I can't remember what it was about. As I recall, I had spotted some similarities of the prose of Mrs Dalloway, Titus Groan and Gloriana respectively. Well, my memory has failed me again...
                        You can't spell "politically correct" without "correct".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Woolf novel Mrs. Dalloway has received more publicity of late. I gather there was a movie made of the book or something of that sort. That's all very well -- it's a good book.

                          Personally, I've always been partial to To the Lighthouse, The Waves, and Between the Acts.

                          Her book Orlando is an interesting experiment and a strange production; it's hard to imagine Burgess's Nothing Like the Sun without Orlando's example. Still, I thought Woolf didn't entirely bring things off in Orlando.

                          I've got no such qualms about To the Lighthouse or Between the Acts.

                          LSN

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                            That's a very kind assessment of Mother London.
                            No better than it deserves. I stand by my assertions about its level of achievement.

                            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                            I'm can't 'rank' it myself (except against books I regard as inferior! :) ) but my admiration of Woolf and Bowen is intense and if I came close to them I'd feel I'd done something worthwhile. I also admire Ford, whose reputation is growing again (as it should).
                            I think "ranking" (as in the deplorable Modern Library "100 best books in English" and the detestable "reader's list" that came out in response) is an odious activity, and misleading in the extreme.

                            From my own perspective, there's no "rank"; there's something like a qualifying line that books can cross where we say, "This book isn't just entertaining. It's really good, and it has staying power, too."

                            I thought Mother London was in this latter category.

                            Books that hit that level of achievement aren't in competition with one another, so there can be no "rank." It's more like a very exclusive club, where books by Woolf, Forster, Bowen, Greene, and others hobnob.

                            Sounds like the basis of an amusing surrealist story. :lol:

                            LSN

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree completely, of course. This has always been my assertion. Interestingly, this was also the assertion of Raleigh and Quiller-Couch who founded the Oxford and Cambridge English schools respectively.
                              It was Leavis, with his obsessive, competitive nature, who started to rank books. I'm currently writing a piece which will touch on the snobbery associated with fantasy and sf. I don't like most fantasy and sf, I must say, but I think it's ridiculous of Margaret Attwood to say that The Handmaid's Tale isn't sf (note that Doris Lessing does not make that disclaimer for her Canopus series) and for her readers to suggest that it's too 'realistic' to be sf. Prejudgement at work there. Artistic snobbery, as I've always said, is the easiest to adopt -- you don't need to prove anything. This is why non-scientific people affect a lack of interest in science (because it's almost impossible to be snobbish about the Second Law of Thermodynamics!) -- you exclude it from your cultural sphere. It is also why detective fiction, for instance, is included, because it requires very little experience and knowledge outside that sphere. Maybe the worst example, for me, in recent years was P.D.James's novel about a world in which children are disappearing (something about Man, skips my mind) which used tired sf tropes and was poorly written, whereas Brian Aldiss's Greybeard, which appeared some twenty years earlier, uses few familiar tropes and is a much better written, subtler book. James's novel was 'not sf' whereas, of course, Aldiss's was sf (and by implication excluded). This is a subject of its own, of course. Anyone who has experienced that, however, has an idea of the process which puts some books 'outside the canon' and includes others. I've spent most of my working life attempting to break down those cultural barriers, which is why I have written all my different kinds of books (and comics) under my own name.

                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                              Comment

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