Thursday, 7 July 2011

PUSH-UPS: Nick Barlay

So, what you pushing right now?
My next book, ‘The Wife of a Man Who’ is coming out in France (in French) so getting that in order is one thing. Also finishing a family history…both are detections in their own ways… Apart from that, I’m some way into a dystopian noir... I wish I hadn’t said that. I believe this type of term to be a curse of endless manifestations.

What’s the hook?
The Wife of a Man Who combines folktale with crime, woman with eating disorders in the underbelly of Belgium trying to discover the truth about her auto-erotically asphyxiated husband.

And why’s that floating your boat?
It could be sinking my boat. But I’m still paddling….I think there’s new European territory to be covered in noir…the form is always addressing our darker impulses…

When did you turn to crime?
Too early. Probably should have got the light rom-coms and musicals out of my system first. Now it’s too late for singalong.

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?
Shades of noir…

And, what’s blown you away lately?
If not totally blown away, then I’ve had my attention grabbed by a couple of things. One was a recent (the last?) Brett Easton Ellis, ‘Imperial Bedrooms’, which you actually don’t remember after putting down but its hallucinatory louche noir LA vibe lingers. The other was a mid-Eighties novel called ‘The Pledge’, Friedrich Durrenmatt. A noirish fairytale and mystery, a struggle between good and evil in small-town Switzerland.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?
That’s tough…but given that Peter ‘Colombo’ Falk died recently, I think some of his work should be broadcast/shown again. Not Colombo. Enough of ‘just one more thing’ already. I’m thinking of the Cassavetes film, Woman Under the Influence. Falk is great.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
I started on a typewriter. One night they came and dragged me off to this eworld. They made me snitch out all my friends on social networking sites…I’m still trying to find a way back.

Shout us a website worth visiting …
You should seek out a former wall street guy turned radical financial activist called Max Keiser, especially on his Russia Today broadcasts. The minutae of global financial wickedness and greed turns noir pale. And a different kind of guy altogether…Limmy’s encounter with a lever

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
Once upon a time, in a remote and mountainous place, I had to use a certain book as toilet paper while simultaneously attempting to read it. The book was Finnegan’s Wake. Guess who won.