The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman
'You know what I'd like now?' he said, without taking his eyes off the fire. 'A pot of tea on top of that and a shag.'
'Do you realize it can take up to a year of constant shagging for a girl to achieve orgasm?'
He didn't, but went along with the prognosis. After all, Maurice had had an experience in the park.
Here we examine the days and nights of young Thomas Penman as he ages from t ...more
Never Mind is somewhat the better literar ...more
I'm glad I didn't stop reading it; at first I was confused and it made me kind of uncomfortable, reminding me of a British miniseries I watched on PBS late at night once when I was a kid because it had tits and ass and now all these years later I still remember a scene with a sick old man in ...more
Bruce Robinson's prose is effervescent and lightning-fast, complimented by an inspiring attention to detail and a dryly optimistic view of a bleak and disgusting situation.
Largely autobiographical, the book follows
I didn't particularly care for some of it, but sometimes the author would write something so incredibly true and insightful about human relations, or something so beautiful or otherwise moving, that it made the book extremely worthwhile.
Against the Grain: Bruce Robinson
By JC Gabel
(This interview originally appeared in STOP SMILING The U.K. Issue)
Stop Smiling: Do you think there was ever a time when movie studios welcomed the creativity and passion of writers and took their ideas more seriously?
Bruce Robinson: You could answer that question with a yes and also a no and be just as accurate with either. Writers came late into the film industry as a kind of technolog ...more
A collection of the young Pelman thoughts of adolescence through his teenage years - where the common theme is shite. The back page of the book states that "his name was thomas penman, a 13 year old asthmatic short arse with big ears and an unwholesome charactaristic..."
This transpires to be shitting himself for pleasure.
Shite also becomes the medium through which his warring parents attempt communication - so ther ...more
"At either end of the mirror were additional sources of reflection. He had never known their worth before but now understood they could be manipulated to supply alternative views, views that Gwen might get, and it was her view that he was after. Both were adjusted to reveal an aspect of himself that he was startled to realise he'd never seen be ...more
In spite of a mouthful of a title that seems to promise forced quirk ...more
Before reading this book I didn't really have any expectations in regards to the plot, and in reality as you read it you sense that story-wise there really isn’t much to stick your teeth into however as you read it this seems entirely irrelevant. This book was a joy to read just for the love of reading alone, it was a funny and emotional book on the adolescence of a young boy and it is rathe ...more
Perhaps the most peculiar aspect of The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman is the author's fascination with every form of bodily excretion. Feces, sputum, semen, earwax--the list is endless. We discover early on that Thomas "from the age of four ... navigated all lavatories and shat himself everywhere else," and the pages that follow detail the boy's obsession with his own fecal matter in terms that are as imaginative as they are repugnant. Having established from the get-go t
Thomas Penman, in Bruce Robinson's The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman, has a bizarre problem.
He leaves steaming piles of his own feces hidden all over his house. He buries the "Shakespearean potatoes" under couch cushions, behind clocks, in cabinets and once, in a pinch, in his schoolmate's hat.
After reading Robinson's Peculiar Memories, it makes sense that this is Robinson's first book and that prior to this he wrote and directed movies ...more
His grandfather is dying of cancer. His parents loathe each other; his father has a mistress "round the corner" and his mother hires a detective in order to get proof for a divorce.
Meanwhile, Thomas' best frie ...more
Part of my hesitancy to finish was Robinson's style (it's not unfair to label it a little obtuse), fascination with the mundane details and, well, frankly, not understanding the British place names, etc (shame on me for letting that be a factor).
I put this on my "to reread" shelf because after I turned the book back into the library, I am still thinking about it and maybe regretting not pushing through ...more
I enjoyed it very much, a great portrait of the agonies of young male adolescence .
Similar in genre to " Black SwN Green" by David Mitchell
Bruce Robinson is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for writing and directing the cult classic Withnail and I (1986), a film with comic and tragic elements set in London in the 1960s, which drew on his experiences as 'a chronic alcoholic and resting actor, living i ...more