By DAVID PEACE
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Please update your billing details here to continue enjoying your subscription. Your subscription will end shortly. That government and their policies changed everybody's lives, not only the ones that had the courage to at least stand and fight. You describe your novel as an 'occult history. I use the word 'occult' to mean hidden - but also as a play on the more grotesque aspects of the word. Events like the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper and the Miners Strike have add an impact on many people's lives.
A Transmedia Adaption – GB84
How far is it the novelist's job to reinterpret such events? Anybody who writes anything - fact or fiction - about real events has a responsibility to the people who lived through them. In writing about the strike, my main motive and responsibility was to stop people forgetting what happened. Especially younger people.
Your novels have been described as 'brutal' and you have often been compared to James Ellroy. How far do you think this is the case? Both Ellroy and myself have written about people and places from our pasts; the people we grew up with and the places we lived in. It's hard to write honestly about the Ripper and the Strike and for it not to be brutal. You also use the testimony of people involved in the strike. Do you feel the novelist's voice is not enough? As I say, any writing, fact or fiction, is through the voice of the writer - the material they chose and the material they don't, which bit goes here, which bit there etc, but I wanted the testimony of the people who actually lived through the strike to be as raw and honest as possible.
I met with people and also used the oral accounts from the books listed at the back of GB84 - and the things I heard and the things I read needed no fictionalising; they were powerful enough.
How important do you think music is in recreating the period? For me, music is a way of recreating the backdrop to a period; lost associations re-surface, images and words that have fallen out of useage come back. It also insulates me against the present.
Review: Fiction: GB84 by David Peace | The Sunday Times
With GB84, as with the other books, I listened to as much of the music from the time as I could. Some of the albums are listed in the back of the book. Your next book is about Brian Clough's 44 days at Leeds United. This seems like a radical departure? I actually worry it won't be any departure at all; , Leeds - sounds very familiar.
You have also said you are going to write another book about the Yorkshire Ripper so presumably you think there is still more to be said on the subject? Unfortunately, yes. I don't think I will ever forget that voice on that tape and the effect it had on me and everyone in West Yorkshire at that time.
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And, until the police reverse their present policy of not investigating the hoaxer, the case will always be open. Are there any other big issues you want to investigate in the future? The strange plots to destabilise the Wilson government and the odd alliances that propelled Thatcher to power.
- At the coal face?
- Andy Beckett reviews ‘GB84’ by David Peace · LRB 23 September .
- A far more grotesque than that envisaged by Orwell - Telegraph.
- BBC - Bradford and West Yorkshire - Words - Interviews_ Authors_ David Peace.
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