Six Degrees of Separation – from 1984 to Delicacy


It’s time again for my favourite meme. Based on the concept of six degrees of separation, Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith have created #6DEGREES, where bloggers share links between books in six moves. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

In honour of Annabel’s brand new book, The Ark, we begin with George Orwell’s speculative classic, 1984. I read it when I was in high school… it probably was 1984… Anyway, when I think about books about the eighties, Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City immediately comes to mind (coincidentally, it was published in 1984).

McInerney was part of the eighties ‘literary brat pack’, which also included Brett Easton Ellis and his 1985 cult classic, Less Than Zero.

The major theme in Less Than Zero is drugs (if you don’t know the story, the wiki summary may frighten the pants off you). A book about drugs that frightened the hell out of me was Nic Sheff’s memoir, Tweak. Frightening because it’s real (and best read alongside his father’s account of drug addition, Beautiful Boy).

Another memoir that comes to mind is Love, Nina by Nina Stibble. It happens to be set in the eighties but features nannying, British publishing legends and no drugs. *see what I did there? Moved from disastrous, drug-fueled books to one that is happy, happy, happy?*

Love, Nina is set in London, as is Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler, which was pleasing to me as I read it around the time I visited London earlier this year.

My favourite part of Ten Things I Learnt About Love was the lists. A book that uses lists to tell part of the story is a good book indeed. Which brings me to my final link, Delicacy by David Foenkinos, a story featuring some very odd lists.

From a ‘futuristic’ 1984 to the actual eighties, to drugs, nannies, London and love, all in six moves.


10 responses

  1. Wow – your list this month has 6 books I know next to nothing about! That’s why I love this meme too 🙂

    Hopefully I’ll have time to post my own 6 degrees next week!

  2. I absolutely loved Ten Things I Learnt About Love – so beautifully written and evocative of London. And I loved the lists too – anything innovative like that always gets me. I’ve not read any of the others, though I’ve been meaning to read Bret Easton Ellis for sometime now – he’s such a wild card on Twitter!

  3. This is an awesome list! I’ve not read any of the books on it – a couple will definitely be going on my TBR list for the future! I just finished my list and have gone on a very different journey, haha! I ended up with John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”!

  4. Great links! I love Bright Lights, Big City. After my husband and I read it, we channelled Tad Allergash everywhere we went. One night at the Supper Club in Melbourne they gave us a cruddy table at the back. I asked my husband ‘would Tad Allergash sit here?’ ‘No chance’ he said, and out we walked!

    Less Than Zero is the only one of BEE’s books I can handle and it’s still pretty gruelling. Great film though. I like list books too. Nick Horny’s High Fiedlity has some great lists.

    • I LOVE that you walked out of The Supper Club!

      After Imperial Bedrooms I vowed no more BEE… But… I find him challenging. There’s not many authors that are so incredibly repulsive in the way that he is.

      I loved High Fidelity but oddly, it didn’t spring to mind when I was picking book with lists – maybe because my memories of London and Paris earlier this year are still lingering? 😉

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