Friday, 12 August 2016


Advance Praise Bought comments on The House of Writers:

“Hey, man! Thanks for transferring the £50. You want me to ramble on about your novel’s kickassitude? Sure. It’s sitting on the bookcase, man. I have priorities, like Franzen’s and DeLillo’s latest. I like you, man, but I ain’t bumping those two LEGENDS for your little scribbling. Anyway, use this: MJ ROCKS AND THIS IS MUCH BETTER THAN THAT JUVENILE EFFORT WITH BELCH IN THE TITLE. PEACE.” — @davey46

“Mr. Nicholls, I have read this latest novel submission with interest. Thank you for sending the other manuscripts, Publish This You Cretins, Your Publishing Firm is a Tide of Effluent, Everything You Publish I Ignore on Principal. I will assign those to our intern readers. I would like to make a personal comment: why the bitterness? This novel is simply a brutal outpouring of personal grievances, score-settling resentments, and misanthropic moans about the world’s refusal to crown you a genius. I am afraid we cannot publish this.” — A Man at Penguin Books

“Dear Mark, I have had a look at some of your book now. I’m afraid that it isn’t my thing. Good luck with it. […] Just to send you a few more words … there were some things I liked in your MS, it’s just that a blurb needs to be a real affirmation and I feel uneasy offering that here I’m afraid. Please don’t be too disheartened and make sure you keep writing.” — Alex Kovacs

“Mark. I’m sorry, but I had to skip that nine-page list. It went on far too long. Why didn’t you make it easier for the reader? I’m sorry, but I couldn’t really understand what the book was about. Your father is reading the Jack Reecher novels, why don’t you write something like that?” — Mrs Nicholls

“This is a pleasant, amusing, moving, and engaging novel written by a talented person.” — CheapBlurbs4U

“A ho-hum gallimaufry of stop-start narratives, banal tangents, and boorish satirical pokes.” — Harold Sorrentino

“The nadir of attempted comedy.” — Lydia Theroux

““This novel is a crisp, buttery concoction that tantalises the mind . . . a soft and mouthwatering crunch of pleasure tingling on the cortices and yumming up the imagination.” — Gregg’s Bakers

“Labyrinthine satiric masterpiece . . . destined for a place in the pantheon of eternal pleasures” — M.J. Nicholls

Page 219:

I am the author of this novel and I have lied to you, and taken unhealthy pleasure in lying to you, and I will continue to lie to you until you beg for more. I have lied about everything in my real life (which does not exist—even as the “author” I am a construct invented to represent aspects of the “real” author—however, let’s not tangle ourselves in semantic or metaphysical notions. I have lied my way through life, relishing in the saltiest untruths. When people have asked me, “Is that soup made of string?”, I have replied, “No. That soup is made of soup.” I have told many dirty, unfair lies, and I have delighted in every one. The truth is a pointless concept, invented by non-writers to keep the masses logical and docile, to eliminate the pleasures of fiction-making. Punch the truth hard.