One of the really lovely things about having a foreign partner is that you get to show them all the good stuff you know about and they don't - books, movies, food, landscapes - things which are definately great, but are old hat when around British friends. I bought my fiance a copy of The Beach by Alex Garland on the weekend. It was 50p in a charity shop. I hadn't thought about it in years. It took me back to the time when it seemed every single person on the London Underground was reading it. I was even in Thailand on a remote island soon after it became huge, and it was to be seen tucked into every backpack. It was quite a good book, surprisingly uncheesy.
He was hyped up to vein-bursting levels. He was young, handsome, cool - he probably even did drugs and stuff. Then he wrote a boring non-entity called The Tesseract, and everyone went 'meh' and then he just faded away, swallowed up by his own success. He's made a couple of (not very good) screenplays since, and has now apparently written the script for a video game. I wonder if he'll ever be able to get back in the saddle and write another excellent book?