Kill Your Friends, Cloud Atlas & The Walking Dead

I’m just reading ‘Kill Your Friends’ by David Niven. It’s described by many reviewers as variations on the theme: ‘nasty’. And, whilst that’s most certainly true, it’s also brilliant.

It is not necessarily for everyone, not least given the language and content, some of which is clearly intended to shock even a hardened reader, however if you can stomach that it’s unbelievably funny semi-fictional account of the British music scene in the 90s which I’d heartily recommend. It has had me laughing out loud in public on more than one occasion over the last few days.

I’ve also just finished Cloud Atlas, which was given to me by my colleague Keredy before Christmas and which is another belter, although it is obviously far more widely known as it was shortlisted for the Booker a few years ago and was recently on the BBCs list of ‘100 Books You Must Read’. It’s another book that’s not for everyone – and is even a little gimmicky in form as it’s a sequence of six eighty page stories that are set in different time periods with different characters, each split in two and which progress chronologically and narratively to the centre of the book and then back again, following a loose thread through each. The language in a couple of the sections – primarily the first and the last of the chronologies – is a bit dense and impenetrable, but it’s worth persevering and despite not being a fan of shorter stories typically, these are superb.

Finally, my colleague Alex has recently put me onto the graphic novels of The Walking Dead (having watched Frank Darabont’s mini series that are based on these comics over Christmas). Whilst the subject matter is again offputting and not something I’d typically be interested in, it’s a great example of a story that has little to do with the genre through which it’s told.

So, three definite recommendations. However I’m now bound to read a howler next – it’s virtually inevitable…