Scotland on Sunday Interview

I love Scotland on Sunday

What books are on your bedside table?

I've just picked up Donna Tartt's Little Friend, but still hanging around in the vicinity of the bedside table is the awesome Bodies by Jed Mercurio, the equally awesome If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things by John McGregor, and my wife's Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour skin cream, by Elizabeth Arden. Very good it is, too.

Which books have you been unable to finish?

I never finish a book I don't like, and I don't think anybody else should either. One book I'm really glad I never finished is The Lord Of The Rings. Come Christmas 2003, I'm going to be the only person in the cinema who doesn't know the ending.

What was your favourite childhood book?

Very young: Treasure island, read to me by my father. Later bewitched by Enid Blyton's Mr Meddle, and then the formative book of my childhood, indeed my life -- Daniel Farson's Beaver Book Of Horror. Librarian: "Are you really old enough to read about Jack The Ripper?" Me: "It's for my dad."

What book would you buy as a present?

I'd really like to buy someone Any Human Heart by William Boyd, but I'd have to 'break friends' with them if they didn't like it. For my money, it's the best of the year, although I've yet to read Life Of Pi which, incidentally, is also on the bedside table.

What literary character would you most like to meet?

Ian Fleming's weird Bond experiment, The Spy Who Loved Me, is narrated by a woman, Vivienne Michel. Fleming clearly carried a torch for our Vivienne, and it's easy to see why. So her.

What would you call your autobiography?

It's usually a pun, isn't it? So it would probably be called something like Holmes Sweet Holmes, and there'd be picture of me on the front licking a big comedy seaside lolly.

What books have made you laugh or cry?

The last book to make me cry was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Carl Hiaasen always makes me laugh. I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan made me do both.

Which books should get the Hollywood treatment?

My own, of course, and it should be treated like a king. A friend accidentally left his copy in a Beverley Hills hotel, so I'm waiting for the call.

Do you bookmark or page corner fold?

I used to be a folder, but I've recently started using those free cardboard bookmarks you get in bookshops. I'm using a Buffy bookmark at the moment.




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