Wednesday, September 07, 2011

It's Patrick Bloody Hamilton, Man!

I went for my third interview since my redundancy yesterday. It was all going well until I was asked the question, "And what about Geoffrey in his spare time? What does Geoffrey like to do?"

Of course I wanted to say, "I don't know, you'd better ask him." But I thought I'd better mention my more intellectual pursuits.

"I like to read, watch television and films, listen to music."

"What are you reading at the moment? Which author?" she asked.

For the life of me I couldn't remember. I knew what the book was about but I couldn't remember the name of the author or the book's title. I'm like this with books quite often nowadays.

"I'm afraid I can't remember. It's a trilogy. It's very good."

I didn't really want to describe the book and thankfully she didn't ask me to. If she had asked I would have had to describe it thus...

"I'm quite a way through the first part, the part seen through the eyes of Bob, the waiter at a London pub who falls in love with a 'beautiful' young prostitute, Jenny. He gives her money, not for sex, but because every time he meets her she seems to need money for rent or for a dress for a job interview, etc. He knows she's using him but he's so besotted with her that he cannot give her up even though the more he finds out about her the less he likes her. It is an autobiographical novel as the novelist, whose name currently escapes me, fell in love with a prostitue himself in his twenties and started to drink heavily. The second part of the trilogy is written from the point of view of Jenny and the third is about Ella, a 'plain' barmaid who works with Bob and seems to be in love with him. Even though the book is very much about sexual infatuation there is no actual sex in the book, purely chaste kisses between the protagonists, though of course what Jenny gets up to when apart from Bob, God only knows, and for the purposes of this job interview I think I should leave it at that."


  1. I had a similar experience.

    I was asked at an interview what I was currently reading and I froze because it was (not surprisingly) complete smut.

  2. Accountancy text book would have been a safe answer. "The art of the double-entry" or "Balance Sheet Techniques" etc.

  3. Three interviews? Lucky, lucky, bastard.

  4. MJ - You should have read out a passage. I presume passages were involved?

    Rog - Peein' 'ell!

    Vicus - I look on them as good practice for my fortnightly Jobcentre Plus interviews. The concealment, the humiliation, etc.

  5. During an interview at the Poetry Society many years ago my tongue dried to the roof of my mouth (never fear, it wasn't awe). Unable to answer a question, I just sat there, grimacing, wriggling my jaw while I tried to salivate. Went directly to a bar after.

  6. Aargh, I hate interviews, it's one of the reasons I've stayed in this bastard job I hate so long.

    Good luck Geoff.

    Here was my review...

  7. Arabella - I'm keeping to my pledge to not drink during the week, even after interviews. Weekends, however...

    Annie - Thank you. I don't mind the interviews so much, it's the idea of working again that gets me. The Hamilton book I'm reading is Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky which is just as depressing as Hangover Square. But I like all that!