Good Reading : August 2010
8 goodreading ı AUGUST 2010 me my shelf i mark dapin MARK DAPIN, journalist and author of underworld novel King of the Cross, lets us peek into his bookshelves. What are you reading now, and why? A Fighter's Heart by Sam Sheridan. It's about a ournalist who trains for the Ultimate Fighting Contest. Sheridan is just like me except stronger, ougher, faster and braver. Er, in fact, he's not much like me at all. What are some of your favourite books and authors? The Book of Daniel by E L Doctorow; Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler; The Comedians by Graham Greene. I tend to enjoy books in which men of principle grapple with the ideas of communism. It's pretty much a dead genre now, however. I also love Memories of a Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy, and Johnny I Hardly Knew You by Edna O'Brien. I guess I've got a thing about Catholic women. Which books have had the most influence on your lifestyle or philosophy? Wage Labour and Capital by Karl Marx, The Iron Heel by Jack London and Why You Should be a Socialist by Paul Foot. Which author would you most like to meet and why? Edna O'Brien (see above). What are some books that have made you augh out loud? Roundabouts of Great Britain by Kevin Beresford, The Front Fell Off ' in More Great Interviews by ohn Clarke and Brian Dawe and Highways to a War by Christopher Koch. Which books have you found inspirational? No Retreat by Dave Hahn and Steve Tilzey. Is there a well-known book you never nished or did not enjoy? Highways to a War by Christopher Koch. When you were a child what did you enjoy reading? Before the age of about 10, I only read American comics -- Spiderman, The Hulk, Fantastic Four etc -- and made the natural progression to science- fiction. My favourite science-fiction author was Harlan Ellison, and you could probably trace his nfluence in my work, if you had nothing better to do. I had a phase of reading violent, pulpy rubbish, like Richard Allen's horrible Skinhead' books and the New English Library's 'Chopper' series (about a biker rather than a crim with one-and-half ears) then graduated to social realism. Do you have a favourite film of a book? The 1971 version of Get Carter is a very good film of a very good book. Andrew Dominik's Chopper was a very good film of a very bad book. Where are most of the books in your home? In my study. Although the art and cookery books are on a separate bookcase in the lounge. Looking at the books on your shelves, is there any one category that dominates? Boxing books upstairs, history of art downstairs. How are the books on your shelves organised -- or aren't they? Um, I organised them by subject matter about two weeks ago. When do you do most of your reading? On planes and in the bathroom. Where is your favourite place to read? Any place I am alone. Do you have a favourite bookshop? (In Australia and/ or overseas) Abbeys in Sydney. King of the Cross by Mark Dapin is published by Pan Macmillan, rrp $22.99.