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Pure Is Poor
February 24, 2012 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Paul McGann reads the first 30 minutes of VURT by Jeff Noon
posted by Artw (34 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously, previously.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on February 24, 2012


Oh man, I love Vurt. I find it appropriate that the MetaFilter colours are blue and yellow.
posted by permafrost at 11:13 AM on February 24, 2012


That's the audiobook I listened to when I listened to Vurt. It was very good.
posted by OmieWise at 11:15 AM on February 24, 2012


Paul McGann is a great voice actor and reader. Shame he isn't better-known generally.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:18 AM on February 24, 2012


VURT is one of those books, like Only Forward which I assume I must have dreamt as no one else has ever heard of them (in my circles, anyway.) Great find.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:20 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paul McGann is a great voice actor and reader. Shame he isn't better-known generally.

He's done a ton of Who.
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on February 24, 2012


And, you know, Withnail and I.
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I would do terrible things for another Noon novel. Wonderful, terrible things.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:22 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only Noon I've read was his short stories, which I loved, and Automated Alice, which I wasn't a big fan of. I should check out Vurt.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:24 AM on February 24, 2012


He's done a ton of Who.

Oh, believe me I know. The Eighth Doctor is sometimes the greatest Doctor, despite the relentless stupidity of the TV movie.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:25 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


"He will always be MY Doctor." - nobody

I keed. McCann is indeed wonderful in the Big Finish audios - Eight is a great Doctor, and his companion Lucy is delightful - and he was terrific in Collision.
posted by jbickers at 11:25 AM on February 24, 2012


A young boy takes a feather out of his mouth...
posted by emmtee at 11:25 AM on February 24, 2012


VURT is one of my favorite sci-fi novels of all time. I read it at a rather impressionable age and it's colored/tweaked my perceptions of reality, technology and drugs ever since. And I just bought a used copy of it last weekend!
posted by naju at 11:41 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer, BTW, I can confirm the existence of Michael Marshall Smith AKA Michael Marshall, and that Only Forward is a neat read.
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


VURT is actually my least favorite Noon, but I still second what ArmyOfKittens said.
posted by louie at 11:48 AM on February 24, 2012


(I mean, I used to keep Cobralingus between Strunk and White and the Economist's Style Guide, to keep me honest. Recently disposed of S+W and the Economist; kept Cobralingus.)
posted by louie at 11:49 AM on February 24, 2012


Relatedly, after doing some Googling inspired by this thread: OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG.
posted by louie at 11:52 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


And, you know, Withnail and I.

Not to mention The Monocled Mutineer and Paper Mask, the latter only 6.6 on IMDB: WTF? Booo.

posted by NailsTheCat at 11:54 AM on February 24, 2012


Artw: "Navelgazer, BTW, I can confirm the existence of Michael Marshall Smith AKA Michael Marshall, and that Only Forward is a neat read."

Is anything after Only Forward, Spares and One of Us worth a punt?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:02 PM on February 24, 2012


His short story stuff is good, never really thought the Michael Marshall novels were all that great though.
posted by Artw at 12:13 PM on February 24, 2012


I once saw Jeff Noon in the cafe of Liverpool Tate Modern. He was carrying a tray with a scone and a pot of tea.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:21 PM on February 24, 2012


Was the tea, like, an INFORMATION DRUG or the scone a complex matrix of sentient metaphors or something?
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I read VURT years and years ago and remember just genuinely being annoyed by the whole thing, but that probably had more to do with an almost total lack of literary or social context on my part and having a teenager-style bad attitude about it for not matching my assumptions than anything in the book itself on its own merits. I think I had as a fourteen-year-old gone looking for something like hackers-and-computer-tech cyberpunk internet wooha time and found instead this gloomy, contemplative magical-feather drugs-and-dreams stuff and was just horribly let down.
posted by cortex at 12:37 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I once saw Jeff Noon in the cafe of Liverpool Tate Modern. He was carrying a tray with a scone and a pot of tea.

His hair was perfect.
posted by Zed at 12:53 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


VURT is indeed of the awesome. The Annotated Alice made the mistake of replacing Carrol's philosophical and mathematical metaphors with mere puns, which was disappointing.
posted by Sparx at 1:11 PM on February 24, 2012


I really didn't rate Automated Alice, but VURT is (I think) very different and well worth reading. One of my favourite books.
posted by Drexen at 1:11 PM on February 24, 2012


The semi-sequel Pollen doesn't get anything like as much praise as it deserves, I think. Possibly even more ideas per page than Vurt. Automated Alice makes more sense in context with Pollen and Nymphomation, but I agree it's far from Noon's strongest.

I have a lot of love for Falling Out of Cars, as well. I've not read enough books that did utterly bleak, worn-out dissolution quite so well.
posted by emmtee at 1:54 PM on February 24, 2012


I think I had as a fourteen-year-old gone looking for something like hackers-and-computer-tech cyberpunk internet wooha time and found instead this gloomy, contemplative magical-feather drugs-and-dreams stuff and was just horribly let down.

See, that's why I liked it - it took lot of the things that SF writers of the day were doing with "cyberspace" and which, because they were trying to map a bunch of metaphors onto some barely understood notions of how computers work, were always kind of broken and wonky, and said, esentially, "it's magic", and suddenly it worked. You could be sucked into infospace never to return and it wasn't some handwave bollocks. It stands up now a hell of a lot better than it's contemporaries because of that.
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course, when he abandoned the pseudo-cyberpunk of Vurt and Pollen for something even more poetic and metaphorical I was a little let down too. It took me until Cobralingus to really get his stuff again.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on February 24, 2012


VURT is one of those books, like Only Forward which I assume I must have dreamt as no one else has ever heard of them (in my circles, anyway.) Great find.

Oh goodness yes.

My copy of Only Forward turned up in my luggage as I was unpacking at home after a trip to Canada. I had never set eyes on it before, hadn't set foot in a bookstore the whole trip, and I'd packed the bag myself, so to this day I have no idea how it got there.

About a year later, after rabidly reading and rereading it and lending to all my friends, I left it under a tree in a park by accident — and when I ran back to grab it five or ten minutes later it was already gone. Into thin air, as it were. So I went to a bookstore to get a new copy and was informed that there was no such book.

Turns out it just wasn't in print in the US at that point, but it still ended up feeling less like a book and more like an unnecessarily detailed hallucination.

I think the moral of the story is just that I'm too susceptible to trippy-ass EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG type fiction. There was also this incident where I lost my car in the multiplex lot after seeing The Matrix for the first time and spent about 15 minutes trying to fight the growing suspicion that it had just been deleted from reality.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:37 PM on February 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


I read VURT for the first time last year. I didn't much care for it -- I found the writing style annoying. I enjoyed the story quite a bit, but found myself wishing it was written by someone else. But I can definitely see the appeal and am pretty sure that if I had read it at a different point in my life, I probably would have enjoyed it immensely.

I also feel that the made-for-tv Doctor Who movie was better than most of the Tennant episodes.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:59 PM on February 24, 2012


VURT is one of those books, like Only Forward which I assume I must have dreamt as no one else has ever heard of them (in my circles, anyway.) Great find.


how did we never talk about this? I read VURT late one night, curled up in a papasan chair at my girlfriend's place. Stayed up until it was done, and then my sleep was full of bizarre dreams... so much so that when I woke up I couldn't remember which bits were the book and which were the dreams.

So I reread the book the next day.
posted by dubold at 2:03 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also am a HUGE Noon fan and thought that yes, without reading them all, Nymphomation and Alice seemed odd - but in context, they work wonderfully.

Needle in the Groove is also a treasured possession around this house. I have yet to read Falling out of Cars (though I just got it) and am excited to see if/when the next thing comes out... cannot love this guy's work enough!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:57 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


IIRC Needle in the Groove also featured the music of Ian Curtis Mayfield, which I really liked the idea of.
posted by Artw at 8:06 AM on February 25, 2012


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