Search the Site
Books
  • CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (Kindle Single)
    CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (Kindle Single)
    by Julian Gough

    The UK Kindle Single #1 hit.

    Jude lives in a henhouse with no roof, that he bought for ten million euro, at the height of the Irish property bubble. One day, his mortgage is rated the debt in Europe most likely to default... The political and financial elite of Europe arrive, with a plan: help Jude put a roof on his henhouse, stabilize his debt, and reassure the markets. It all goes horribly wrong.

    "This novella is very funny – laugh-out-loud at times…Gough is one of our most talented satirists" — The Irish Independent

  • Jude in London
    Jude in London
    by Julian Gough

    Shortlisted for both the Guardian's Not The Booker Prize, and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, Jude in London is an epic, comic exploration of the bizarre love triangle between language, consciousness, and reality. Which is all very well, if you're into that sort of thing.

  • Jude: Level 1
    Jude: Level 1
    by Julian Gough

    Shortlisted for the 2008 Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction.

    The novel's prologue won the biggest prize in the world for a single short story - the BBC National Short Story Prize.

    "Sheer comic brilliance" - The Times

    "The best comic novel I've ever read" - Tommy Tiernan

    "Could be the finest comic novel since Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman" - The Sunday Tribune

  • Juno and Juliet
    Juno and Juliet
    by Julian Gough

    My first novel, of which I am very fond. The adventures of teenage twin sisters Juno & Juliet, in their first year away from home. Life, love and literature, in Galway and Tipperary.

     

    "Like Roddy Doyle in an extremely good mood" - The Washington Post

    "A modern, at times brilliantly ironic reworking of the classical fairytale, with nods to Shakespeare, Austen and Beckett." - Literary Review

    "Hugely entertaining" - Vogue

Subscribe
Mail Me
Powered by Squarespace
Login
Saturday
Aug132011

Help save civilization by reading a funny book

It's not every day you get a chance to help an award-winning impoverished author (er, that's me) solve a major dilemma, while simultaneously helping to humanise Capitalism, revolutionise Publishing, and save Civilization. But today is that day.

 

Jude in London - soon to be a major bookHere's the background (the dilemma will follow): my new novel, Jude in London, has just been longlisted for the Guardian's Not The Booker Prize. Now, The Not The Booker Prize is the most entertaining prize in the literary calendar; an annual online flame-war-slash-literary-debate that can be very helpful in drawing attention to unusual books. (The prize itself is a mug, worth about £1.50. But the glory is incalculable!)

 

BUT: For a long-listed novel to make the shortlist, readers have to nominate the book, and post a very short review on the Guardian website (to prove they've read it). The process is explained in detail here.

 

Here's the dilemma: Jude in London is officially published on September 6th. But the shortlist votes (and reviews) have to be in by this coming Wednesday. As my novel isn't in the shops for another fortnight, I don't have any readers yet to nominate it.

 

So, if any of you would like to read Jude in London, for free, I can send you a pdf of the entire finished book, nicely laid out and readable, today. And if you like it a lot, I'd be extremely pleased if you would post a 150 word review, and nominate it for the shortlist by Wednesday. You're under no pressure to review it or vote for it: only do that if you genuinely like it a lot and think it's worthy of going through to the next round.

 

There you go. Anyone who wants a free pdf of Jude in London, just ask in the comments below, or on Twitter (I'm @juliangough), or email me at juliangoughssecretemailaddress@gmail.com...

 

Now, here's the bit where we revolutionise Capitalism. My beloved publisher Ben, who runs Old Street, has conniptions at the thought of a professional-quality pdf of the entire book escaping into the wild before publication. Understandably so - he's sunk a lot of time and money into making a beautiful book out of Jude in London. But I think the future for peculiar writers like me has to be a kind of love-based mutant version of capitalism where you trust your readers, and in return your readers help to keep you alive. Because the free market isn't going to. Bear in mind, I've gone bust and been evicted while writing this book. I've wandered Europe homeless, relying on the kindness of friends (and the occasional stranger) to get it finished. So I, too, would like to see it, somehow, earn me enough to keep going and finish the next one.

 

So here's the deal: I give you the book for free. You don't have to review it or nominate it. But if you really like the book, if you read all the way to the end and have a good time... I'd love you to buy a copy for a friend. Does that seem fair?

 

And if you do like it, and buy a copy for a friend, tell me, and I'll tell my publisher, and maybe this trust-based model (where a book is always a present, and yet small publishers stay in business and weird writers get to eat) could take off.

Friday
Jun172011

A peak at Jude in London

See that headline? It contains a typo. A TYPO. In the HEADLINE. It should be "peek". But to get rid of the typo, I had to get rid of the entire blog post and start again. (No, don't tell me there's an easier way now, it's too late.) So click on this and you'll be taken to a new post with no typo in the headline.

Friday
Jun172011

Jude in Tate Modern... A girl! A gun! The Turner Prize!

Here (hot from my inbox!) is a sneak preview of an illustration, and a chapter, from Jude in London (due to be published in September). In the picture, Jude is about to find out if he has won the greatest prize in art - the Turner of Turners. The crowd lift him aloft... his former lover, Babette, flips a golden coin...

No, I won't tell you who is sneaking up behind him with a gun.

 

For now, clicking on the picture takes you to the first book. Which is also excellent.

 

And here's some free new book to go with the picture. This is from a little earlier on, before the prize ceremony... Enjoy...

(Oh, by the way, the artist, Gareth McNamee Allen, once did this fine homage to Tayto crisps for my old band, Toasted Heretic's first album, Songs for Swinging Celibates. There's more of his work on his website. Top chap... OK, here we go... )

 

 

From Jude in London...

 

CHAPTER 80

I entered Tate Modern. The floor sloped away and down, beneath a high walkway, and out into one enormous Room. I walked for a long time, until I was in the centre of the Room, and looked around. I was obviously very early, for the Art had not arrived yet. Certainly there was more than enough blank space on the walls for it. It was a room into which you could have fitted Galway City’s great Car Park of the Roaches itself. I had never seen the like. Its scale was inhuman. Yet the Tate Family evidently still lived here, and spent all their time in this room, for their possessions lay all about me. At the far end of the room, and proof I was in the right place, a stage stood before a backdrop of vast, dead television screens. Great lights, unlit as yet, hung above the stage from steel beams.

No doubt the Prize-Giving will take place upon that stage. Oh, I hope they will not be too disappointed that I have neglected to create any Art …

Perhaps I could make up for my failure by helping to get the place ready, before the other artists’ Art arrived. I looked all about me.

There was very little furniture in the room, and that in bad order. The bed in the far left corner was in most need of attention, the sheets crumpled and filthy. The last party had obviously congregated here, for on the bed, the rug, and the surrounding floor, were empty cigarette packets, stubbed butts, vodka bottles and general debris.

Ceci n'est pas un litIt was an easy matter to collect the rubbish, turn the mattress, shake out the sheets, plump the pillows, and remake the bed. This ritual, familiar to me from the Orphanage, soothed. I sang softly as I worked. Too soft a sound to rebound in echo from the bare walls.

The fish tank proved trickier than the bed. Enormous though the tank was, the fish was far too big for it. I estimated the poor creature at thirty-five feet. Presumably, in the way of family pets, it had simply outgrown its accommodation. The older Tate children, who loved it, had themselves, I supposed, reached adolescence, and become too busy to care for it: and the aging parents slowly forgot it, in its forty foot tank in the far right corner. It appeared to have been dead for some time. Bubbles of decomposition rocked it occasionally in the thickening water, as they emerged from the decaying grey flesh. The top of the tank was sealed, which cannot have been healthy for the fish while it lived. Certainly, it made my task of emptying and cleaning the tank more difficult than it needed to be.

Ceci n'est pas un poissonWhen I was finally done with the fish tank, I examined the room in more detail. The place was in a shocking state. The closer I looked, the more shocked I was. The very basics of child-rearing seemed to have been neglected by the Tate parents. Neither the young Tate children nor their many pets seemed to have been adequately toilet trained. There were lumps of elephant dung everywhere. Some had even stuck to the paintings, and dried there. It was a hell of a job to get it all off.

The children themselves seemed to go anywhere. I even found a bottle of urine with a crucifix in it. Sighing, I retrieved our Lord Jesus on his cross, and hung him back up on a clean wall.

I began to clean the handprints and splashes of dried mud off the end wall.

As I worked, others quietly entered the enormous room. Some introduced themselves to me, and shook my hand.

“Judges,” they murmured.

“Brian Eno,”

“Brian Sewell,”

“Brian Balfour-Oatts.”

“Fascinating piece.”

“Please, ignore us.”

“Carry on, carry on.”

They crept into the shadows, murmuring.

“And while dressed as a rabbit! Brilliant!”

“I thought Mark Wallinger’s Sleeper couldn’t be improved on, but by golly…”

“I beg to differ…”

I finished cleaning the wall, and looked around. Still a great deal of work to do, to get the place ready … Unbelievable that a family as rich as the Tates lived in such squalor. Nothing seemed to work. I decided to fix the fluorescent light, which had been flickering erratically since I’d arrived. I tracked the fault to a hidden timer that someone had mistakenly set to turn the light on and off again every minute or so. It was a simple matter to route the circuit around it.

Even their big, new, colour television seemed broken. I couldn’t get any sound out of it. It was showing a rather dull film, about a woman trying to clean a shower. The pictures had gone very slow for some reason, and were in black and white. The whole thing seemed banjaxed. I switched it off.

Then I picked up some old firebricks, which had been left lying where someone might trip. Gasps came from the shadows. Brian Sewell clapped.

I put the firebricks in an old, water-damaged shed. Its overlapping boards and weathered paint reminded me of the lakeboats of Lough Derg. A pleasing warm feeling rose in me.

Now to deal with the graffiti.

The older Tate children seemed to have thrown several parties recently, without the benefit of parental supervision. Many of their friends had scrawled their names, and worse, across all kinds of objects and surfaces. I set to scrubbing. An illiterate fellow called Chris, from County Offaly, seemed to be one of the worst offenders. I was sad to see a fellow Irishman letting the side down. “Ofili” indeed.

Tired, and in need of a break after removing the graffiti, I looked for the toilet facilities. A urinal was mounted in the centre of the room. It was mounted at a curious height, and on its back: but no doubt that was the modern way. Oh, more fecking graffiti… On its rim someone had scribbled their name, and the date or time of the party. R. Mutt. 1917? 19.17? 7.17pm? I carefully scraped it off, before urinating.

 

Ceci n'est pas un urinoir

(There you go. Feel free to comment below, or explore more of the book for free here.)







Friday
Apr292011

A Guide To Blurbs: What They Are, Why They Sometimes Suck, And How You Can Help Me Write A Better One.

OK, I did an experiment on Twitter last week: I asked for feedback on the shoutline for my next novel. (The shoutline is the sentence on the front of a book that - ideally – is so intriguing, and so right, that the book’s Ideal Readers pick it up.)

 

The result was so interesting, and useful, that I've decided to throw open the mysterious and arcane process of writing the blurb of the book. The blurb is all the stuff on the back cover. It's usually written by the editor, the author, or both. (Though some publishers, like Penguin, employ professional copywriters.)

 

Trouble is, the editor’s an editor, not an author. And the author… well, authors cannot describe their 100,000 word books in 100 words. It’s a natural law. Asking a novelist - who’s just delivered a book - to write their own blurb is like asking a marathon runner, as they stagger over the finish line, to run a 100m sprint.

 

And professional copywriters… they get it done, but where is the love? Yes, some copywriters are superb. But others often don’t even read the book.

 

Which is why blurbs - even on great books - often suck.

 

So let’s see if we can craft an unsucky blurb.

 

I'll put the rough draft of the blurb here (actually, my eighth draft – you really don’t want to see the first). You can comment right below it, or tell me what you think on Twitter (I'm @juliangough), or email me directly at my secret email address ( juliangoughssecretemailaddress@gmail.com ).

 

I'd love to hear what you like, but also what you don't like, and why. "I hate it" and “I love it” are both useful, but not as useful as "I hate the way you give away the ending" / "I love any book containing monkeys" / "When it mentioned he had two penises, I got interested."

 

If you’re feeling tremendously motivated (or the day stretches before you, bleak, endless, like a glimpse into the abyss), you can read a short story adapted from the novel here, to get a feel for the tone I want. Remember, the blurb should accurately reflect the book… we’re not trying to lie to people here, or seduce absolutely every customer in the shop. We just want to draw the attention of the Ideal Readers for this particular, slightly unusual, book.

 

OK, here we go... I would really appreciate it if you would tweet about this, or link to it, because the more people who comment (ESPECIALLY people who don't know my work already), the more helpful and useful this will be to me. Thanks!

 

 

((The shoutline & blurb work with the cover image, which also gives you important information. So… ))

 

The front cover:

 

((It’s a photograph. Deep snow.  In the distance, under a pale blue sky, the tops of famous London buildings stick up out of the snow. In the foreground, big, we see the back of someone’s legs, standing in the snow. Possibly wearing home-made rabbitskin trousers. The footprints show he is walking towards London. Lying in the snow at his feet, a red lipstick.))

 

AUTHOR: Julian Gough

 

TITLE: Jude in London

 

SHOUTLINE: Here at last. Only the billionaires, the monkeys, and The Thing left to beat.

 

Back cover:

 

BLURB:

 

A novel which does for the sleepy English town of London what The Simpsons did for Springfield.

 

“The Death of the Author is on your conscience!”

It was. “Sorry,” I said.


It’s Jude’s first day in London. The young orphan dines on roadkill, wrestles a monkey, makes a porn film, wins the Turner Prize, battles The Thing, visits brothels, and kills the Poet Laureate. He is shot at, kidnapped, thrown overboard from a tycoon’s yacht, and forced to discuss literature in a pub of excessive Irishness. But can Jude find his True Love, in the labyrinth of the city, with its countless temptations?

 

“The biro fell from my hand.

I felt even more light-headed than usual. I looked down.

Alice removed her jane smiley from my philip k dick. She had given me an updike with the durability and tensile strength of mahogany.”

 

Yes, love's a puzzler…

 

Jude in London is a comic epic for anyone who loves Roddy Doyle, PG Wodehouse, Samuel Beckett and Kafka, but wishes their books had more explosions.

 

What a day! And I had never got my cup of tea.

 

((This next bit should be beside the barcode, like a May Contain Gluten warning. The word WARNING should be readable, and perhaps in red, but the rest should be so incredibly small they’re hard to read.))

WARNING: This novel was produced in a writing environment that also processes pop songs, computer games, and comics. May contain traces of the 21st century.

 

Inside front cover:

 

"Julian Gough is not a novelist" - the New York Times.

 

"Julian Gough is a wonderful writer" - Sebastian Barry

 

"Julian Gough’s notion that shouting the word 'feck' and being grossly scatological will make him seem echt Irish only harms his argument." - John Banville

 

"The ultimate Irish joke. Sheer comic brilliance." - The Times.

 

Jude in London is the second volume in the Jude trilogy. (Though it works brilliantly on its own.) The cult radio play, The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble, is adapted from it.

The prologue to the trilogy (“The Orphan and the Mob”) won the biggest prize in the world for a single short story - the BBC National Short Story Award – and represented Ireland in the Dalkey Archive anthology Best European Fiction 2010.

Volume one of the trilogy (Jude in Ireland) was shortlisted for the PG Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction. In 2010, it was named by the Sunday Tribune as Irish Novel of the Decade.

 

Inside back cover:

 

A PHOTO OF MY HEAD. Not this one.

This is what an author looks like immediately after delivering a novel. Does he look in any fit state to write a blurb? Clearly, this man needs help.

 

A BIO:

 

Julian Gough was born in London, grew up in Ireland, and now lives in Berlin. In his youth, he sang with underground literary pop band Toasted Heretic. They released four albums, and had a top ten hit with the single "Galway and Los Angeles", a song about not kissing Sinead O'Connor.

He is the author of the novels Juno & Juliet, Jude in Ireland, and Jude in London. His collected poems and lyrics, Free Sex Chocolate, were published by Salmon in 2010. 

He is probably best known for stealing Will Self’s pig.

 

 

More quotes saying how great I am / how I’m a threat to Western civilization.

 

OK, and finally (but quite importantly); we came up with two different versions of the shoutline on Twitter. I’d love if you’d vote for your favourite. Just say either 1 or 2, anywhere in your comment/tweet/email, I’ll know what you mean…

 

1  Here at last. Now only the billionaires, the monkeys, and The Thing left to beat.

 

 

2  Getting here nearly killed him. Now he must fight gravity, billionaires, monkeys, and The Thing, to win his True Love.

 

 

And that’s it! Tell me what you think, below, or on Twitter, or by email.

 

Oh, and when this is all over, I’ll send a signed, finished copy of Jude in London to the person who made my favourite suggestion.

 

(SMALL PRINT: Judging will be cruel, arbitrary, unfair, and I’ll probably give it to someone who makes me laugh and doesn’t even make a sensible suggestion. No need to worry about your address now, I’ll ask you for it when you win.)

 

Thanks again in advance…





Monday
Apr042011

World Women in Literature Day

Mr. Jonathan Franzen, author of the acclaimed novel, Freedom, was unable to attend the launch of World Women in Literarature Day.

 BREAKING NEWS: Jonathan Franzen, author of the acclaimed novel Freedom, was unable to attend the launch of World Women in Literature Day.

 

Philip Roth and the President of America discuss World Women in Literature Day

Philip Roth, author of the great American novels, The Great American Novel, American Pastoral, and The Plot Against America, said last night "It is a tragedy for world literature that Jonathan Franzen was unable to attend."

 

Women's literature is currently making a big splash in America. News that a woman had won the recent Pulizer prize for fiction was covered by the New York Times, who devoted a full line to it in their initial announcement. In a break with tradition, they even spelt her name correctly in some later editions of the paper (see correction below the article).

 

David Foster Wallace celebrates World Women in Literature Day. Image courtesy Esquire and the collective unconscious.And the publishing world has been swept by rumours that several female Nobel Prize winning authors from unfashionable countries may be briefly reviewed in two, or even three, American news outlets next year, so long as David Foster Wallace (author of the wildly acclaimed first half of a novel, The Pale King), doesn't release a collection of unfinished short stories, or a facsimile of a notebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A spokesman for the American Press Association said last night: "Your mouth is moving but I can't hear you, I think because your voice is so high."



Please click on the three photographs for further information on this story.

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 38 Next 5 Entries »