The Peace process

An update, and I hope a pertinent one, as it seems like the country has gone David Peace crazy, on account of Red Riding (can’t wait for tomorrow night’s installment, can’t wait for tomorrow night’s, can’t wait for tomorrow, can’t wait for – can’t wait etc.) and the imminent movie adaptation of The Damned United, which I have seen and although there’s a review embargo I can say it’s as good as Peace fans will have hoped ie. rooted in the book and the author’s parallel Derby/Leeds narrative, but writer Peter Morgan has actually turned a serious book into a terrific period comedy, so odious comparisons need not be made.

Anyway, I’m over halfway through 1983 and hurtling, via a triple parallel narrative and three layers of flashback, towards the horrible conclusion of the Quartet – and thus the Trilogy. I’m now convinced that 1980 is better than 1974, and 1983 is shaping up to be even better than 1980. We’ll see. There’s certainly stuff in 1983 that will make your hair curl in terms of retrospective evidence, and I almost know whodunnit. Piggott, the solicitor who turns up in 1983 and dominates one strand (he’s played by Mark Addy in the third film, so I’m unable to picture him as anybody else – damn those films), achieves a new poetry of self-loathing and physical disintegration. You’ll love him.

The past couple of weeks have been intense, in terms of fiction consumption. Quite out of the ordinary for me. For the record, the two non-fiction books that I’ve had to forsake in favour of devouring Peace to the bitter end, are Lenin by Robert Service and Israel by Martin Gilbert, which will have to wait. Once I’ve finished 1983, which might be today, might be tomorrow (today, tomorrow, tomorrow, today), I’m afraid I’m returning to GB84, which I haven’t finished, and then, with crushing finality, it’ll be onto Tokyo Year Zero, Peace’s most recent, and first to venture outside Yorkshire, where the skies are always black and grey and it’s always starting to rain.

I love him.


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