Thursday, October 29, 2009

a seemingly unremarkable blog post....OR IS IT?!?

I'm grateful to the people at spEak You're bRanes for their championing of the fine work of novelist Cuger Brant aka regular BBC Have Your Say contributor Bruce Grant.

Don't be fooled by the availability of the Brant oeuvre on Amazon - publishers Epic Press are a "self-publishing" (or, less kindly, vanity publishing) operation. Amazon's "search inside" facility does allow you to get a taste of the truly epic awfulness of the content, though. Have a look at Something Wicked This Way Comes, for instance. Note that the title is taken from Shakespeare via the 1962 Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. Then have a look inside. Woo hoo!

Obviously being a really awful writer doesn't preclude your being a really successful one; just look at Dan Brown. Brown's stuff (and I confess I've only read excerpts, never a whole book) seems to me to be just generally ploddingly, leadenly awful rather than reaching the truly dizzy heights of dreadfulness that Brant is capable of.

Maybe Matthew Reilly would be a better comparison? My impression (again, only from the odd chapter, never a whole book; I don't think I could take it) is of someone far more hilariously shit than Dan Brown. On the other hand, his books are published by a professional publisher who, you'd like to think, might at the very least prevent books being published with large-font spelling mistakes on the front cover.

No, I think the only valid comparison here is with the baleful bard of Barnes, weaver of dreams, titan of terror: Garth Marenghi. Just as the full series of Darkplace was suppressed by The Man for being "too subversive, too dangerous, too damn scary" so it is with Cuger Brant's Cassandra-esque shamanistic prognostications. Did you reject my novel because it was shit? Did you really? Or was it that it just BLEW YOUR MIND? Yeah? Yeah? Oh, right.

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