“You’ve done a story and you’ve made it a bit quirky, like a Wes Anderson movie” – The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray

ltajwOh, men. Oh, male writers. We need to have a chat.

You’re clever, I get it. You’ve done your research. You know things. Look at all the wonderful things you know. You’ve filled five hundred pages with all the things you know and think. You’ve done a story and you’ve made it a bit quirky, like a Wes Anderson movie. He’s good isn’t he? Wes Anderson? Yes he is. I’m more of a Fantastic Mr. Fox and Life Aquatic sort of guy than a Royal Tenenbaums fan if I’m honest, but no, no, that’s good too. It is. It’s really good.

Shall I put the kettle on? I can make you a coffee and you can tell me how I’m doing it wrong. No, that’s not fair – how I could do it better.

Yes, I know, I could be better. I could read more David Foster Wallace. He’s great isn’t he? David Foster Wallace? Yes he is. The way the boring bits are really boring? Great stuff. Really great stuff. David Foster Wallace eh? Yeah. And he does lots of pages too, doesn’t he?

Biscuit? I’ve only got Jammy Dodgers, but you could tell me about the biscuits you had that one time in that patisserie in Nice. The one that really, only the locals know about. Remember that day? You were reading something by David Foster Wallace. Your French just seemed to magically flow from you when you ordered those biscuits and the sun shone in a certain way. You’re pretty sure the girl behind the counter, the one with the hazel eyes, fell in love with you that day and you might have asked her to marry you but the words stuck in your mouth and you had to get back to Boston in a week to finish your masters in Creative Writing and your essay about David Foster Wallace.

He’s great isn’t he? That David Foster Wallace? Really great. He says so much about contemporary living doesn’t he? With all his words. And all his pages. And all his thoughts on contemporary life.

Shall we do “this” for a bit? Shall we “signify” our “irony” with “speechmarks”? Would that be “good”? Do you take “sugar”? Great. Drink up now. Drink up.

Drink up…

Any Cop?: I mean, Christ, this isn’t a bad novel. Not really. It’s just I could save me, and you, a lot of time by copying and pasting my review of I Am Radar or War of the Encyclopaedists or any other novel of more than 500 pages written by a white man since Infinite Jest was published. You know what you’re getting. If you like that sort of thing, knock yourself out.


Benjamin Judge




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