Jason Dean’s top cultural picks

April 29, 2014, Article by Tom in Books

Jason Dean, author of the James Bishop novels, picks his cultural favourites:

Band: New Order. No question. The ‘eighties wasn’t exactly a decade to remember, especially when it came to music. Fortunately, Barney, Hooky, Gillian and Steve were on hand to help me get through it, weighing in with classic songs like ‘True Faith’, ‘The Perfect Kiss’, ‘Touched By The Hand Of God’, and countless others.

Artist: I think I’ll have to go with Picasso here, since some of my favourite paintings have got his signature on them. Guernica, for one. In fact, that one’s so good I even gave it a cameo in my first James Bishop novel, THE WRONG MAN.

Film: This is a real toughie. If by favourite, you mean one I can watch over and over without ever tiring of it, then my vote goes to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’ve always been a major Kubrick fan, and this film is a big part of the reason why. Granted, it’s slow by today’s standards, but I don’t care. This movie’s ‘great’ in every sense of the word. In fact, I might watch it again right now…

Book: Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett. One of the most influential crime thrillers ever written, with a town in desperate need of being cleaned up and a nameless hero who might have to lose his soul in order to do it. It’s a book I never tire of rereading. And this was Hammett’s first novel too. Amazing.

Author: Dashiell Hammett, of course. As if writing the masterful Red Harvest wasn’t enough, the guy then went on to write the classic The Maltese Falcon, along with The Glass Key and The Thin Man. All in the space of about five years. After which he simply stopped writing altogether. What a damn shame.

Drink: Tea. Hot or cold, it doesn’t matter. And no milk or sugar, thanks. I prefer mine without additives.

Place or holiday destination: Well, my favourite place in all the world is Thailand. Luckily for me I also happen to live there, which is convenient. As for a favourite holiday destination, that would have to be Kanchanaburi – home of the original Bridge Over The River Kwai – and only about a two-hour drive from us. Which is also convenient.

Food: Chilli. And it has to be hot, too. Very very hot.

Sport and team: Football, natch – and my fave team is my home club, Reading FC. Still, if they don’t make the play-offs this year, at least I’ve got the World Cup to look forward to.

You can download ONE GOOD TURN, a FREE James Bishop ebook short story now. Click here for details

The next full length Bishop novel, THE HUNTER’S OATH, will be published this June. Keep your eyes peeled, more info coming soon on this…