People are inclined to compare new authors to others. Who do you aspire to emulate?
I’ve tried to make this book as accessible as The Beach, as fast-paced as The Firm, as gritty and outlandish as Norman Mailer and Hunter S. Thompson, as discursive as Bruce Chatwin, and as focused on today’s environmental crises as Margaret Atwood and Naomi Klein. I’ve also released a flock of comedy chickens into the text inspired by Eddie Izzard’s surrealism, Jon Stewart’s insight and John Oliver’s apoplexy.
Who helped you out?
Everyone who laughed in my face and stirred the contrarian in me, and those who shot me a smile and said that if I was mad enough to take it on, I might just pull it off. I’m very grateful to a number of early readers and Brother Cohen for teaching me to fish (aka - build websites). Particular thanks goes to Todd Gitlin for the gift of The Sixties and for demonstrating that the only soaring intellects worth their salt are those deeply grounded in humanity.
What is the book’s first line?
It begins with this:
I fell asleep to dogs barking and awoke to birdsong.
[Laughing] It’s all downhill from there for young Jackson.
And the last line?
Less is more. Too much is never enough.