( the facebook page - @MarkHaddonAuthor
is run by vintage books / doubleday
i don't have any input
and i don't see any of the comments...
predictably it has far more visitors )

  starry eyes

something for the annual art room charity in oxford...

http://www.theartroom.org.uk/

  3 things

   

these two (above) were wonderful (it's been especially good alternately reading about the thames then swimming in it which i do most days). also i have become addicted to this (below) which is enthralling in too many ways to mention. if you don't know it, have a look at the amazon page (here) which has more info than imdb but needs no spolier alert unlike the wikipedia page.

  portraits

   

totally unable to write for the last few weeks after finishing the red house, so this is one of the things i've been doing instead.

  Atos

(photo: sarah lee for the guardian)

so many things to write about recently (cy twombly, lucian freud, news international, mass murder in norway...) but it's this which has dragged me back to the keyboard; the way the government has used this french company to wash their hands of the dirty work of cutting the numbers of people claiming incapacity benefit. there are countless stories about the speed, shoddiness and hearltessness of the process itself, the numbers unjustly declared 'fit for work' and the effect this has had on vulnerable people. moreover, 39% of the claimants who appealed against decisions have won their cases at a cost of over £20 million to the taxpayer while the company itself suffers no penalty as a result.

more proof, if more proof were needed, that we are being governed by a group of ideologically driven liars and incompetents who have never been dependent on the services they are slashing and who are incapable of sympathising with those who are dependent on such services. more 'big society'...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/jul/26/fit-to-work-tests-flawed

  at last

there are parts of his melrose trilogy which i find too horrible to read, but i'm addicted nevertheless. i haven't stumbled across any other contemporary writer whose use of language seems so seductively right, especially when used to describe the intricate workings of the mind. funny too (an odd thing to say about books which are about, among other things, the aftermath of sexual abuse), not least when describing some of the most thrillingly unpleasant, bitchy and self-centred character you'll find in a novel.

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