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Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel by…

Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel

by Gordon Burn

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I believe I can see what Burns is trying to do here - Proust for a more mediated age - but he doesn't quite pull it off. Still, a good effort, which is nevertheless intelligent, diverting and (an underestimated quality in books) short.

Defintely worth a punt. In an age when more and more of our celebrated "literature" is little more than re-worked MA projects from creative writing courses, from writers who have nothing to say, Burns is at least having a pop at doing something serious. Had he succeeded in his ambitions, I have no doubt this would have been hailed (at least eventually) as a truly great work. ( )
1 vote Quickpint | Jun 6, 2011 |
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"The news - all news now - is essentially fiction: an accretion of rumour, surmise, spin and speculation gathered around a tiny nucleus of verifiable fact. There is increasingly little of what, back in the days pre-dating the worldwide web, the blogosphere and the rolling-news channels, used to be thought of as the plain, unvarnished truth." "This is the jumping-off point for Born Yesterday. It is set in the summer of 2007, an extraordinarily rich time for news, with the attempted London and Glasgow car-bombings and the summer floods, the unexpected public traumas attending the smoking ban, and a new prime minister brought to the brink of calling a snap election. The story of Madeleine McCann's disappearance, meanwhile, still dominates the front pages, and Margaret Thatcher, an old woman in a shapeless coat and trainers, takes the air in the same London park as the writer." "Gordon Burn, novelist and journalist, has taken the events of this memorable summer and turned them into a groundbreaking and compelling novel that makes us think again about the way news is made and how it can possess the richness and strangeness of fiction."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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