Ben Myers on the books, heroes and villains of 2012

23 December 2012

Ben Myers is a novelist and journalist. His novel Richard - about music, madness and the Manic Street Preachers - was published by Picador in 2010. His latest novel is Pig Iron.

 

2012: A year in books

What is your favourite book of the year?

Can I choose a few? Burning Bright by Ron Rash. Everything’s Fine by Socrates Adams. Dirt by David Vann. Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth. The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan.

What is your favourite Picador book ever?

Trout Fishing In America by Richard Brautigan. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Child Of God by Cormac McCarthy.

What is the book that was most neglected (fairly or unfairly)?

Skagboys by Irvine Welsh should have been Booker shortlisted at the very least. It also seemed a shame that Swimming Home by Deborah Levy has been published by Faber only after it was Booker nominated, having previously turned it down.

What is the book that was most over-rated (fairly or unfairly)?

How One Can Earn £400,000 Before Lunch by Pippa Middleton.  

What are you looking forward to reading most next year?

New novels by Heidi James, Socrates Adams, Ron Rash, Lee Rourke. And Alasdair Gray’s mammoth short story compendium.

Who is your hero of the year?

Barack Obama.

Who is your villain of the year?

There are so many to choose from, but I’ll go for the obvious: David Cameron, George Osborne and Michael Gove for forcing library closures and trying to strangle the arts.

Becoming and being a writer

What would you be if you weren't a writer?

Maybe a very bitter drug addict?

What was your favourite book as a child?

The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl. Stories To Be Read with the Door Locked by Alfred Hitchcock.

What is the book you recommend most?

A Month In The Country by J. L. Carr. Ask The Dust by John Fante.

What is your favourite poem?

The Prelude by William Wordsworth.

Where do you write?

In a cold attic room of a Victorian house on a street in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire.

Can you give one piece of advice to people wanting to become a writer?

You’re paying for that champagne, so enjoy it.

Do you read on paper or ebook?

Paper.

One book that changed your life?

Post Office by Charles Bukowski. Sexus by Henry Miller.

One book you have read more than once?

The Shining Levels by John Wyatt. 

Your worst ever job?

Working as an intern at News Of The World, under Piers Morgan and Rebekah Brooks.

What gives you nightmares?

The thought of having to get a job.

 

 

 

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