Monday 24 October 2016

The write stuff - journalists who were successful novelists

Pat Fitzpatrick

Published 11/04/2016 | 02:30

George Orwell.
George Orwell.
Katie Price.
Normain Mailer.
Tom Woulfe.
Hunter S Thompson.

As we talk to Emily Hourican about her new book, we look at journalists who also enjoyed successful careers as novelists

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In Animal Farm, Orwell has a pack of animals overthrow a cruel regime, only to become greedy themselves. They call that satire. Or the history of Fianna Fail. Although the history of FF seems to read differently these days. Micheal from Cork took over the reins and everybody completely forgot the past. The End. Orwell's 1984 introduced the character of Big Brother. He seemed like the worst creation in the world. Until Celebrity Big Brother came along. And then all hope disappeared.


Hang on, there is no need to be such a snob. The woman formerly known as Jordan once wrote a regular advice column for OK! magazine. And who better to give advice than a woman who married a singer she met on a reality-TV show in the jungle? (Seriously, if Katie can be a journalist, then Peter Andre can be a singer.) As for books, if you think she isn't a novelist, you've obviously never seen her Perfect Ponies. (Stop sniggering down the back. They are her stories for kids.)


He served in World War II, married six wives, stabbed one of them, wrote a biography of Marilyn Monroe, ran for mayor of New York and founded the Village Voice newspaper. Not all on the same day, but there is no denying his energy. His first novel, in 1948, was called The Naked and the Dead. It would be hard to imagine a better title for a novel. Unless you called it Nazi Cats Teenage Vampire Sluts. Everyone would buy that.


Tom Wolfe is often described as a rock star journalist. We're not sure what that means. Maybe he's like a rock star, but refuses to throw the telly out of the hotel window because he wants to watch the news. (Journalists love news.) His novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, was a huge hit. The film adaptation, on the other hand, wasn't. Mainly because Bruce Willis did a lot of talking in it when he should have been blowing stuff up. Bruce's voice. A bit whiney, to be honest.


The man who invented Gonzo journalism. That doesn't involve newspapers written by a pack of Muppets. You mean like the British press, says you, still trying to get over the way they claim Saoirse Ronan. Thompson described a few days of insane, drug-fuelled, binge madness in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Or, as it's known in Ireland, Scobie's Stag Party. Sure you only get married the once, said Scobie, to at least three hookers.

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