Cultural Life: Tony Parsons, author

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The Independent Culture

I am working my way through everything Cormac McCarthy has written, and right now I am 100 pages in to The Road, about a father and son making their way across America after some eco-nightmare, and it is awesome. My non-fiction book is the autobiography of Teddy Atlas, the boxing trainer – Atlas From the Streets to the Ring: a Son's Struggle to Become a Man. The best book I have read over the last year is The Book of Dave by Will Self, which is just so imaginative, funny, gripping and sly. It would have won the Booker if literary life in this country wasn't such a racket.

I am always buying new music and usually end up disappointed. My favourite new band are The View and their Hats Off To The Buskers – I bet their dads were fans of The Clash. I love White Stripes, but Seasick Steve and Black Keys do a deeper, dirtier blues. My favourite song of the moment is "Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright III. The old favourites currently on the turntable are solo Joe Strummer, Bert Jansch's Birthday Blues and early Dr Feelgood.

No Country For Old Men is the film I have enjoyed most. There Will Be Blood would have worked better if Daniel Day-Lewis had been given a worthy opponent, rather than the Vicar of Dibley. I loved Into the Wild, written and directed by Sean Penn, the true story of a young man who goes to Alaska and eventually starves to death. Shades of Kerouac – Penn is turning into a beautiful director.

The last thing I saw was Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon, which was everything a night in the theatre should be: funny, punchy, off the wall and, most important of all, mercifully short.

Visual Arts
The Royal Academy have on a kind of greatest hits of Russian museums – there's a lot of Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh. Probably the most famous painting is La Danse by Matisse, the one with the nymphs who look as though they have sunburn.

Tony Parsons' novel 'Husband and Wife' is out now, published by Harper Collins