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Something of the Night Hardcover – 5 Jan 2012
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It s reminiscent of Nick Hornby or Bill Bryson if you like those writers you ll love Marchant but somehow less needy than Hornby and less reliant on the joke than Bryson. It looks as though it risks being a self-indulgent mess but it isn t. Marchant somehow carries us through all this, with patience, good humour, self-lacerating honesty and an immense amount of charm. I don t see how anyone could fail to like it --Evening Standard
The book proves its worth by offering up a shared emotional understanding of what the night can bring --Scottish Sunday Herald
Is January the darkest month of the year? It certainly feels like it, which gives you a very good excuse to stay inside and read this witty and wide-ranging discussion of the world through the eyes of night owl polymath (writer, musician, lecturer) Ian Marchant... this is an incredibly funny and well written outpouring of one man s life lived according to his own principles, both in daylight and at night --Resident magazine
About the Author
Ian Marchant is a writer, broadcaster and performer. He is originally from Newhaven in East Sussex, and now lives with his family in the not-entirely real county of Radnorshire. Before taking up writing books, he sang in various unimaginably obscure bands, wrote up the results of horse races in betting shops and ran a large second-hand bookshop on the Charing Cross Road. He currently teaches creative writing at Birmingham City University and with the National Academy of Writing. Something of the Night is his seventh book.
Top customer reviews
The main thrust of this book is what we get up to at night - quite a lot it seems. The narrative is a little tenuous at times but Ian heads of to a linen factory in Northern Ireland among other locations and meets some random types who spend their working life under the cover of darkness.
We learn a lot about Ian's personal life; sleep disorders, panic attacks and divorces and how he's come through it all relatively unscathed.
Hopefully he is working on something soon as he has a very easy going style and seems to be having plenty of incidents and adventures for another book - just keep a diary and publish that.
Like 'Parallel Lines' and 'TLC', there's a winning combination of research, anecdote, trenchant opinion and whimsy, but here the central conceit ('exploring... The Night!') just isn't strong enough (or is simply too amorphous) to sustain a whole book. Some of the personal revelations also feel creepily like therapy... worryingly so... and I'm not sure that most readers will feel they're getting what they signed up for when they read the 'Soho' chapter.
Marchant fans will buy (and most probably enjoy) this, regardless... and it's generally an engaging and diverting read. But anyone coming fresh to Ian Marchant's non-fiction would be, I reckon, well advised to try 'Parallel Lines' or 'TLC' first, then come back here when they're already converts to the big felleh's stylings. And then possibly skip the 'Soho' chapter...
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