0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Down and Out in Hay and Edinburgh,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: We Can't All Be Astronauts: Your Friends Are Successes. You're a Failure. One Last Chance to Reach for the Stars...: Your Friends Are Successes. ... One Last Chance to Follow Your Dreams... (Paperback)
There are two sorts of writers: the ones who can write, the ones who can't. It doesn't take long to differentiate - a few pages at most.
Fortunately, Tim Clare is in the former group.
I hugely enjoyed this readable and laugh-out-loud account of the travails of an intending writer. Only Bill Bryson really makes me laugh in this way, but Astronauts has a darker side to it and less of the middle brow calculation. It had one effect that nothing else has in thirty years: it made be question whether I actually wanted to submit myself to adding other scripts to the pile of unsolicited unpublished books littering publishing house floors. I am not sure I do.
Fundamentally, it's picaresque; many books are, when you stop to consider. Tim Clare is very honest and open in this memoir about himself, his motivations, his jealousies, his family relationships, as he works towards publishing his first book It is a study of ambition, but also what it is to carve a passage through the world in those years when, post university, a number of routes are open and the daemon isn't yet fixed. After reading his account of what it might be like to work in an office, you wouldn't really question whether it was for him.
Mind you, as someone who, despite intensive weeding, still has about 600 books, and lives in Portishead, I would take issue with Tim Clare's strictures on the town; it is no different from a thousand other places, and not the semi literate, benighted place suggested. Perhaps I protest too much at the hyperbole here?
Tim's artistry and industry are belied by the easy charm of the book and its flow; I am sure it was actually quite a difficult birth. If you read Astronauts, of course, you begin to be particularly happy that it wasn't still born, when it seems as if this could have happened.
I look forward very much to Tim Clare's next outing; perhaps a revisitation of the dog-humanoids? Didn't Magellan in South America see dog headed monsters?? It will be interesting to see if he can capture the same sour sweetness in fictional form. And I for one will be pre-ordering on Amazon.