Stuart Kelly enjoys the raggedy brilliance of a publishing sensationSelf-published in 2008 and this month awarded the PEN prize for debut fiction, A Naked Singularity has had a long, slow burn. Gradually it garnered online reviews in which it was compared to Dickens, Melville, Dostoevsky, Joyce, Pynchon, David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Lethem (and the Coen Brothers, Police Academy and The Wire), before being taken up by Chicago University Press and now the MacLehose imprint of Quercus (the publishers of Stieg Larsson). It is currently the favoured stick with which to beat conventional publishing – proof, we are led to believe, that the soulless minions of orthodoxy can’t distinguish between Henry James and EL James. It is ambitious, affecting, intelligent, plangent, comic, kooky and impassioned. I’ve read a lot of novels this year, between judging the Man Booker prize and the Granta Best of Young British Novelists, and I’ve yearned for this kind of exuberant, precise fiction. I would also say that now Sergio de la Pava is part of the Corporate Behemoth of Old-Fashioned Publishing, his next book will be far, far better. As much as I loved it, I wished he had had an editor.A Naked Singularity might …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books