One Minute With: Tom Benn, crime writer
Saturday 05 January 2013
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm at home, at my desk. I see my laptop keyboard – four keys missing and counting.
What are you currently reading?
I've started Matt Thorne's Prince biography, and I'm also re-reading Jane Austen's 'Emma'.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him
Dashiell Hammett... I love the Continental Op's narration – it's stylish, unsentimental and deadpan-funny. His best mysteries have aged better than Chandler's... less heroic, more cynical.
Describe the room where you usually write
I write a lot in the library at the University of East Anglia... The walls are covered in undergrad graffiti (literary quotes, exam-time SOS's).
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Generally, I'm not interesting or uninteresting enough to be a recognisable character. But the last time I was single I may or may not have resembled Kenny from Richard Price's 'Ladies' Man': anxious, priapic, self-deluding.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Does Quentin Crisp count as "outside literature"? He refused to change for the world and waited for the world to change for him. And it did.
Tom Benn's new Bane novel, 'Chamber Music', is published by Cape
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga