the state of things

 

10 Lines From Barney Thomson Novels That You Won’t Find In The Oxford Book Of Quotations

by Elvis Shackleton - 10:18 on 28 June 2012

Some say that the Barney Thomson series is so extraordinary that it can be seen from space. Others that the series has redefined the very nature of existence. In this list, Elvis Shackleton, one time Long Midnight Publishing marketing supremo, provides a small taster of the series that the critics call “the finest bunch of Glasgow barbershop death junky books of all time.”

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10. ‘The sun is shining. I thought I was in continental Europe. At least, until I saw the rubbish on the streets and all the young girls pushing prams…

THE KING WAS IN HIS COUNTING HOUSE

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9. ‘Eastern lovemaking? You think that means she’s shagged someone in the back of a motor in Edinburgh?’

THE LONG MIDNIGHT OF BARNEY THOMSON

8. It was one of those days when it seemed the whole world was on the streets. It was hot, so that your shirt stuck to your chest and your armpits smelled like they’d been napalmed.

A PRAYER FOR BARNEY THOMSON

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7. When the Spanish or Italians have a mid-life crisis they get an eighteen year-old girlfriend and start driving a Ferrari. It’s much more British to do something really grand and stupid like run marathons, climb mountains or sit in the basement trying to build your own spaceship. At some point you wake up and you realise you’ve achieved fuck all, and the only thing for it is an act of monstrous and supreme folly.

THE LAST FISH SUPPER

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6. Unsure at whom their Day of Rage should be aimed, the townspeople marched on the barbershop, clutching torches and copies of Hello magazine.

THE BARNEY THOMSON 10 Second NOVEL COLLECTION

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5. ‘You know, like, we’re sitting here looking out of a window at absolutely nothing. I mean, nothing at all. And yet, it’s like, really cool. I’m so chilled. It’s like some weird, transcendental drug. I’m tripping on silence and introspection. What is that all about?’

THE HAUNTING OF BARNEY THOMSON

4. This eclectic array of packets, frosted over reds and browns. This was Wullie. Neatly packaged, easy to handle, ready to use, Wullie.

THE LONG MIDNIGHT OF BARNEY THOMSON

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3. ‘I love you, Monk,’ he said, not for the first time, but increasing the pressure by taking hold of her fingers, ‘you walked into my heart and you’re there to stay. You’re my forever lover.’
Uh-oh, she thought. There’s a fine line between romance and sick bag and he’d just leapt over it with all guns blazing.

THE FINAL CUT

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2. The waiting area suggested everything you’d expect from a modern, chic, marketing operation. Sleek, minimalist Scandinavian furniture in pale colours; a few stark modern pictures of nothing in particular, painted in pallid blues and yellows; abrupt chairs, built for style rather than comfort; and a tremendous feeling of freshness and light and cleanliness. Almost as if there was a giant invisible panty liner soaking up all the dirt and darkness and grime.

THE FINAL CUT

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1. ‘It’s a higher notion than just hair, Barney, you ought to know that. I want a haircut that transcends hair. That’s what Gandhi had. He had a haircut that didn’t even need hair. I want something like that, but a haircut that doesn’t need hair but has hair anyway. You see where I’m coming from? You know that today politics isn’t about policy, it isn’t about substance or platforms or issues or taking a stance. It’s about hair. That’s why you’re here, and that’s why I did so well last week. Did you see those polls in the Sundays? I’m on fire. Now give me a Gandhi. But with hair.’

THE END OF DAYS


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