Sunday, 21 June 2015

EL LIndley Reviews Ultra Violence - Includes link to popular anti-bullying chapter

You might never make it rich in this caper (unless you started playing the Indie caper in 2008 or something), but if you are any good, you will have made great friends and readers and that is something you can't actually buy. 

And these friends might actually come to visit you as you live in your big skip eating supermarket throwaways* and wearing jackets from Scope.  

Or then again...

So it is that EL Lindley (below) from Sheffield, writer of six commercial fiction novels, (two I have read so far and strongly recommend), wrote a series of reviews of my work, the latest being on Ultra Violence, the novelbased on the antics of football hooligans attached to a small Midlands football club (Notts County - incidentally, the oldest football league club in the world, without whom no other football clubs would ever exist, ever). 

Here she is.

...and here's her review of the old girl, which is now nearly four years old. I still can't believe it.

E follows up the review with this discussion here - like most of her blog articles, it is well worth a read.

And finally, for those who read the review, here's a link to the bullying chapter from UV, The Best Years Of Our Lives, which many readers have commented upon -and been kind about. 

A friend of mine (there we go again, all the friends we make in Indie!) was campaigning against bullying at the time, so I offered this piece and as a consequence, it is perhaps my most read piece of work.

Here is the opening sequence. 

There is more, if you have time, and an explanatory passage. 

Incidentally, the manuscript was written in Courier, one of the original typewriter fonts, but I was persuaded not to use it in the finished article. I sometimes regret it. I visualise the text in Courier.

You are thirteen and it is your turn today.
You don’t know why it’s your turn today but all you know is that it is.
The atmosphere has been building up for weeks.
Those little incidents.
Brief encounters.
Minor skirmishes.
You’ve never experienced anything like this anticipation before and you’re scared. Your stomach is turning over as if you’re staring down the side of a skyscraper. You are tense and dizzy and you wish you hadn’t had seconds in the dinner hall.
Manchester Tart. 
Two slices.
You’re thirteen, sitting at a large school desk, your satchel packed and blazer on.
Five boys are staring at you. You know it’s your turn.
You’re paralysed. Panic. You cannot move. You’ve never known a feeling like it. Trepidation courses through your veins. Your body is charged and you want to cry. But you don’t. Weeping will only make things worse.

Writers may be interested in the book, which I think is a quid or a couple of quid now, because it is written in 2Po - second person omniescent. 
You'll either dig it or you'll hate it. 
There are very few indie novels - or trad, for that matter - written in this style. 
You can buy it here.

Thanks, E :-)


Bez's real name is Mark Berry, which is what people who don't know me,
like tax collectors, phone salesman and people who send me parcels, call me.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog post, Mark and reading the bullying scene has got me all choked up again. It's so evocative and a testament to your writing. Reviewing your books is always a labour of love. You can't beat a bit of Happy Mondays and I'm on a mission now sourcing my own hooligan songs :D