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David Bowie Book Club Launched By His Son

A young Duncan Jones with his father, David Bowie. Image screenshot courtesy of the official David Bowie Instagram.

Fans of David Bowie and those who like a good read should be happy with the news that Bowie’s son, director and filmmaker Duncan Jones (Moon, World of Warcraft), is launching a book club in the musician’s honour. The club will feature picks from Bowie’s favourite pieces of literature, taken from the singer’s list of top 100 books, which was published online back in 2013.

The online book club will each month pick a book from the list and Jones will open up a discussion on Twitter about it on a chosen date. Anyone is welcome to join (“More the merrier” said Jones) you just need to get a copy of the book and read it by a certain deadline.

David Bowie enjoying a joke with the film crew while filming 'The Man Who Fell To Earth'. © Geoff MacCormack

“My dad was a beast of a reader. One of his true loves was Peter Ackroyd’s sojourns into the history of Britain & its cities.” Jones tweeted. “I’ve been feeling a building sense of duty to go on the same literary marathon in tribute to dad. Time allowing.”

This was then followed shortly after by another tweet confirming the first book in the series, which is one by the aforementioned British author and is set in London in the 17th century. “Alright gang! Anyone who wants to join along, we are reading Peter Ackroyd’s ‘Hawksmoor,’ as an amuse cerveau before we get into the heavy stuff. You have until Feb 1.”

Terry Pastor designed and hand coloured the album artwork for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. This print is based on the original photograph shot in London in 1972. © Terry Pastor

Akroyd’s 1985 Whitbread Award-winning novel followers architect and debaser Nicholas Dyer, who is loosely based on the famous 17th century architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. Dyer's satanic and murderous life—which is narrated in the 17th century language and diary style of Samuel Pepys—is juxtaposed with a modern day criminal investigation led by a detective named, Nicholas Hawksmoor.

The detective is looking for a serial killer who is leaving dead bodies at the site of the churches built by Dyer, and his obsession with tracking the killer leads the detective to begin to become mentally unhinged. It’s a macabre and post-modern read involving human sacrifice and occult rituals, and an interesting novel to kick off a book club with.

In the style of the novel, Jones tweeted, “Just want to thank all my followers (satanists & snake talkers,) who are part of the “book club,” (shadow government.) Don’t forget that the deadline for finishing Hawksmoor, (overthrowing the festering cabal that rules the world,) is Feb 1, (Feb 29,) 2018, (1693.).”

Duncan Jones 'reading intensely' the first book, 'Hawksmoor', in the David Bowie Book Club. Image credit: Twitter / @ManMadeMoon

It looks like Jones might video himself reading some extracts from the various chosen books too. As he also tweeted about the legalities of recording himself reading a segment of a book and posting it online. Author of American Gods, Neil Gaiman, replied to him, stating that it was fine (in America) and that “A paragraph or two from a book-length work would count as fair use, in the US.”

Other works on Bowie’s top 100 list that might also make the book club include novels like George Orwell's 1984, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces along with music bios and music history like The Life and Times of Little Richard by Charles White, The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll by Charlie Gillete, Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom by Peter Guralnick and many more. You can check out the full list here.

If you want to join in you have until 1st February 2018 to read Hawksmoor, and then make sure you keep up with Twitter hashtag #BowieBookClub.

Bowie chose this image from 'The Man Who Fell To Earth' (1975) for publicity posters in the late seventies. © Geoff MacCormack

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer many iconic David Bowie images as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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