One Three One – Julian Cope – Book Review
When I first heard that Julian Cope had written a novel, the mind boggled. Julian is at the tender age of 57 and while he is responsible for various books of non-fiction, such as The Modern Antiquarian: A Pre-millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain and Krautrocksampler, it is an unusual age to start into a new line of work. Cope has never been predictable and he has regularly attempted to confound the critics, and this is just another step along the way!
The fact that this book deals with the world of Hooligans during Italia 1990 really shouldn’t surprise, but it just does! There is a saying that you should write about what you know, and maybe this subject matter is something close to Julian’s heart, but for whatever reason I find this hard to believe. The name of the novel comes from the main road around Sardinia, the 131 motorway. The novel is set in 2006 with our main protagonist/ hero Rock Section returning to Sardinia for the first time since he was kidnapped and tortured in a cheese factory some 14 years previous during the World Cup. There is some familiar ground though, as Rock is a pop singer with a history not a world from Julian’s own. Rock has returned to find answers and believes only Judge Barry Hertzog, the Dutch cult leader responsible for the crimes can provide them.
The main surprise about this book is the quality of the writing. While he is no literary giant, for a pop star turned writer, there is a lightness and comedic quality to his prose. The story is captivating, and you want to find out more about this obscure world.
So what is left for Julian Cope? A Fresco on the roof of a church or maybe a modern dance piece? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Julian Cope performs in Whelans on Saturday the 18th of April. Tickets are available here.