Between the Covers 17/02/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Colin Firth is not only catnip to Hollywood actresses – as reported by The IoS earlier this month – he's also popular with authors, and the adaptors of their books.

At the recent Shoreditch House Literary Salon, it seemed that everybody was talking about him. "I'm going to be allowed on set to see Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman making the film of Before I Go to Sleep," said an excited S J Watson, the author of that book. At the same event, Blake Morrison talked about his memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father?, which is 20 years old this year. That book was made into a film in 1997, with a screenplay by the One Day author David Nicholls, who was also in the audience, and starring Jim Broadbent as Mr Morrison senior and Colin Firth as young Blake. The book has aged well, and so has the author, but he did regretfully admit to Between the Covers: "Since the film, every time I try to picture my father I see Jim Broadbent. Unfortunately, when I look in the mirror, I don't see Colin Firth." Never mind, Blake, we think you'd look great coming out of a lake.


S J Watson should pay heed to Joanne Harris, who live tweeted her experience of watching the film of her book, Chocolat, on telly last week. She shared memories of Johnny Depp hating the chocolates that were made by Juliette Binoche, secrets about the two dogs who played Charly (one of them painted with black spots), and her recollection that Judi Dench has the same dirty laugh as her own great grandmother. "And to anyone wondering how much influence I had," she added, "my name's in the credits – under 'Wallaby Handler' and just above 'Johnny Depp's hair'."


The most popular man in literature this week has been … Richard III. On Tuesday, Bloomsbury bought a book called Richard III: A Ruler and His Reputation, by David Horspool, which is due for publication in 2014. "It is a long time since there has been such a perfect match of author and subject," said the publisher, ominously. On Wednesday, John Murray bought another book about the king. And on Thursday, The Bookseller's "Accelerators" chart revealed that Josephine Tey's novel The Daughter of Time, about a Scotland Yard officer who investigates the dead king's crimes, sold 649 per cent more copies this week than last. Now is the winter of his discount titles.


Our ace reviewer Doug Johnstone is making serious promises about his new novel, Gone Again, which is published on 7 March (Faber & Faber, £12.99). The novel is about a missing wife, and Johnstone boasts that "there is also a lot of Star Wars chat in it, a restraining order, the tooth fairy, pints of blood seeping between the floorboards, guns, a chase on Porty Beach, constipation, a playground punch up, dead bodies, and chapped lips."


Thanks to the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association for a sensible Valentine's Day tweet, reminding their followers that "Keats, Shelley and Byron are all lousy romantic role models", and counselling against getting "romantic" and "Romantic" confused.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year


Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living