I’ve been thinking a lot about the aging process recently. When I was in my late teens, i read Yukio Mishima’s ‘Seas of fertility’ quartet and, a few years later, read Iain Banks’ ‘The wasp factory’. The former, in particular is an appreciably different proposition at eighteen to the same book viewed after a further three decades.
When ‘The wasp factory’ first came out,I’d have been in my early twenties – and of course, I knew all of life. Nothing could shock me. Rereading the novel again, after the Thatcher years, a couple of kids and learning a whole lot about substance dependency, i found the child murders and the animal cruelty pretty hard to take, if I’m honest.
Ever since I got my first e-reader around three years ago, I’ve (finally) gone back and reread a few of those books I’ve been meaning to pick up again. Tellingly, the very first book I e-read was Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave new world’. I hadn’t read it since my early teens, led there by David Bowie via George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Good old dystopia – from the days when the future was a damn sight better than it is now!
I’ve reread a number of old comics, too. Howard Chaykin’s ‘Black kiss’ (and apparently, there’s a ‘Black kiss 2’!!!) And Gilbert Hernandez’s ‘Heartbreak soup’ trilogy. And frankly, I’m enjoying them at least as much as I did the first time.
I don’t normally embrace repetition. My philosophy is generally never to look back – or at least, not to admit when I’m wallowing. Recently, I’ve been looking at how I absorb things. I’m one of those people who go back to films I’ve already seen more than I’ll watch new movies. And I’m not talking musicals here – I mean drama. And comedies.

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