This is the ebook edition of a recent - but very classic book.
It took three years to put together Neverland, a novel about "Michael Jackson and his loud mouth friend Uri”. Three years during which, Simon Crump said, Michael Jackson was "with me at home, at work and in my car. He shared my meals and even some of my dreams." Crump finished the book around 9pm BST on 25 June. The real Michael Jackson was dead less than four hours later.
This knowledge gives this haunting, uncanny book even stranger resonance. It's meaning changed before its metaphorical ink had dried. But even without tht spooky coincidence, this would be a short story cycle of extraordinary power.
Briefly, we follow a thoroughly unreliable narrator Lamar (a former member of the Memphis mafia who has now been employed by Michael Jackson) as he loses his wife, drinks drugged coffee and sleeps for years at a time, gets shot and dies – an event that only seems to incapacitate him in so far as he can no longer smoke his favourite brand of mini-cigars. His employer, meanwhile, takes part in the last great gold rush of 1898, tries to buy a unicorn from Ebay, starts fights in shopping malls with Uri Geller, forces Lisa Marie Presley to play with his lego and attacks a horse.
It's funny. So funny. Countless fast one-liners, fine and inventive swearing and several slow-building, repetitive jokes that detonate wonderfully whenever they appear. It's also quite profound. It doesn't make that much sense in a conventional, linear-rational way, but it does all add up...
This digital ebook edition comes with an Afterword by the author and an introduction by the great John Self.