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The King of The City

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  • The King of The City

    Just finished reading "The King of The City" a couple of days ago and I was fully astonished!!! The book blended Fiction and Non-Fiction so well that I was often asking myself if certain people (or places) might really exist. Of course many of them do (or did). GREAT JOB! I just loved it.

    But I do have a couple of quick questions. In my opinion Dennis seemed to resemble Jherek Carnelian's character from the End of Time stories, while Tubby resembled Lord Jagged. Dennis was sort of swept along, just following his nose. But became a pivitol point of the underline plot. While Tubby was always doing something behind the scenes, to progress his master plan. Is this comparison all in my head or did you have that in mind while writing the story?

    Also, What the hell is a BloodWorm? ;-)

    -Eric Zollman

    P.S. On another note. Just wanted to thank you again for writing "The Brothel in Rosenstrasse". I actually shed a tear or two when VonBek realised that Alex had left without him. Keep up the good work and best of wishes to you and yours...

  • #2
    I too was fascinated by King of the City. One of the most fascinating reads I've had for some time. A lot of it seemed autobiographical and I'd love to know which parts (if any) were.

    Parts of Behold The Man appeared autobiographical too...?
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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    • #3
      Some of it is definitely autobiographical, but much of it is invented. Dennis isn't 'me', in that he's a good ten or twenty years younger than me. I wanted to make him a papparazo of his time. Various characters are real, others are invented out of whole cloth, but I hadn't put in any deliberate correspondences with 'End of Time' characters. Many of the places are invented, too -- including Tufnell Hill and the whole of Brookgate.

      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

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      • #4
        I don't expect you to reveal which bits are real and which bits aren't - that's the author's prerogative after all, but some parts are very vivid, like the boxing match in chapter 11. I wondered if you used to go to these. And of course Tubby Ollis shares the same surname as a member of Hawkwind...

        Sometimes the reader just gets a feeling that the author is describing things that happened to them. I felt the same reading the description of a menage-a-trois in one of Delany's books (was it Babel-17?), long before I read The Motion of Light In Water.

        And talking of Delany's book, have you any plans to write your autobiography? I'm sure you've got loads of good stories to tell.
        'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

        Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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        • #5
          The boxing match was derived from a lot of reading and some TV stuff about modern bare knuckle boxing, as well as an account by that guy
          who published a book a few years ago (The Governor ? was it called).
          Quite a lot of it is based on my own experience and friends (like Freddie
          Earlle, who turns up in the cafe, for instance). The Portobello stuff is fairly straightforward memory (or lack of it!) and quite a lot of the stuff involving Calvert and so on is true. But I'm an habitual liar and have been making my living from it for years. So don't expect someone like me to be able to distinguish betwen reality and invention.... :)

          Autobiography. My accounts of events and those of some of my friends are often so radically different I thought rather than upset friends, whose memories are different, I just wouldn't bother. My reviews tend to take on a slightly autobiographical slant, these days, though... Certainly stuff I'm doing for London Magazine.

          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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