Adam Mars-Jones used to write like this
One gets the sense that Neil Gaiman's rep as a genius must somehow be a reflection on the subculture that has so elected him. Like the water-cooler boor who becomes the office analyst because he read a Jung book in college, Gaiman seems to have raised himself into the empyrean on the narrow shoulders of Joseph Campbell. Campbell is not a very persuasive starting position in the first place: a sloppy structuralism denuded of whatever force it might have had by spiritualization. Stardust, in film version at least, for all its stylized whimsies, seems like the most mechanical Campbelliana imaginable. There are no characters, only positions, in which squat a rather unfortunate set of actors. The little matrix of the hero narrative has been filled with requisitely "original" figures; it's a movie written entirely in a single page Excel spreadsheet.
(Jane Dark on Stardust)
TLS is my first novel. At a time when I was working on Opus -52 or thereabouts David and I shared a house in Stewart Street in Oxford. David had a JRF at Brasenose; I was working on the Oxford Corpus as well as on Opp. -52, -51, -50, -49 & so on & on. We read everything AMJ wrote, regardless of subject. One day: I'm sitting in the kitchen reading the Independent on Sunday. There's a long piece by AMJ about someone called Marc Almond, which I start reading because it's by AMJ. I say: 'There's a piece by AMJ about someone called Marc Almond!' David: 'Mark Almond! I know Mark Almond! I'd no idea he'd become famous. He had a JRF at Jesus, specialised in Eastern Europe -- I suppose he must be very much in demand what with the war in Bosnia.' HD: 'I think this is a different Almond.'
Anyway, Jane Dark reminds me of the days when I would read AMJ reviewing films I did not plan to see. On Stardust here