i read the manual yesterday, coming across the link while having a nosey through my archives. i printed it off at work, and read it as a loose pile of a4 paper on the train to buxton. i was completely gripped, and the journey flew by. i was sat next to this completely gorgeous lady as well, not that i saw her face at any point because it was stuck in a big tom wolfe book. but she was wearing very sensible, rugged clothing, and had her bike with her. when 'i'm wide awake it's morning' finished, i took my headphones off in case she wanted to start a conversation. but she didn't, and hopefully this wasn't because i kept fiddling with the massive blood clot up my nose. i'd like to look at a female stranger and not think about how i would or wouldn't like to hug them. all the students are back in manchester, and i've managed to free myslef from the cynicism and actually cherish their innocence and numbers, even the ones holding hands (although i can only appreciate this in a wildlife sense). there have been lots and lots of very pretty girls hanging round the business school, but the trouble is they're all business students - it would instantly put a dampner on our conversation. not that it matters, because my job finished on friday so i expect to be in london by next weekend.
but yes, the manual. terriffic in every way; it reeks of warm cynicism; the love they have for the processes they describe shine through. everything's very explicit - it's about the eternal glory of having a number one single, not being a pop star or even making any money. and it's a relic of a bygone time (they even predict that the book will be outmoded whithin a year - that was 1988). it is such a different world now, not because you can't watch totp every thursday night, but for the exact same reasons that you can't watch totp every thursday night. and it's very sad to read it in this light.
that said, i haven't been the same since finishing it last night - listening to the radio becomes a completely different thing. i've started to appreciate shit pop music for what it is. think about what a turn around that is for me, and in such a short space of time. i don't like it, but suddenly i admire it, like rival species clawing at a savannah carcass.
it is also just about the only book i can think of written in second-person future tense ('you will have a meeting with a publisher...'). it is the most beautifully wistful meaningless trimuph of an ending, that can surely only be achieved through magic/hynposis/neural linguistic programming/cosmic ordering/scientology/dramatic self belief (ALL OF WHICH ARE THE SAME THING). most of the book seems to consist of making people cups of tea, and asking if you can have 28 days to get them the money. whithin five weeks of quitting your job, you will have a number one single. it tells you what to do every day and makes it seem almost believable. reading it straight it almost seems satirical, but reading it twenty years later it's an affectionate litany for a bygone time.
and the best thing is, it would make an absolutely cracking movie. it would be simple - the book even gives us characters and dialogues. if linklater can make a film out of fast food nation, then us lot can turn this into a magic film of the book it is now - set it in 1988, where solid state logic is the new thing and bruno brooks is a household name. or set it now and update it - then you don't have to get retro wall paper or find a recording studio that's not changed in twenty years. of course, i don't know what the aim would be now, since having a number one single isn't what it used to be. but there's something here.
so come on guys. let's do this. i'll bash out a script and a shooting schedule. it'll be huge.