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28 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 18 May 2014

Joseph O'Connor - who first came to international fame with his 2002 historical novel "Star of the Sea" - joins Mariella Frostrup to talk about his new book, The Thrill Of It All, an account of the rollercoaster life of a fictional band in the 80s. Four musicians who meet in the unglamourous surrounding of Luton Poly and form a band called The Ships in the Night take the eighties music world by storm although success brings inevitable conflict - and disillusion soon sets in. Told in the distinctive style of a faux music biography, Joseph discusses his own experiences of the music world as older brother to his pop star sister Sinead.

As Patricia Highsmith's novel The Two Faces of January hits the cinema screens this week crime writer Louise Welsh and biographer Andrew Wilson discuss the life and personality of the writer who is credited with creating the first likeable psychopath in popular fiction - Tom Ripley. Why does the moral ambivalence that lies at the heart of Highsmith's work continue to resonate, and why - as she said herself - did she like to write about "cruel deeds"?

Another in the occasional series of insider tip offs from the publishing world, Chatto and Windus publisher Clara Farmer recommends Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey.

And inside novelist, comedian and broadcaster David Baddiel's writing room the celebrated author talks about the distractions posed by the internet - and his exercise bike!


    Beautiful Shadow A life of Patricia Highsmith by Andrew Wilson - Publisher: Bloomsbury
    The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson
    The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh - Publisher: John Murray
    A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh - Publisher: John Murray


    By Patricia Highsmith - Publisher: Little, Brown
    Strangers on a Train
    The Talented Mr Ripley
    This Sweet Sickness
    The Two Faces of January
    The Glass Cell


    The Thrill of It All by Joseph O'Connor - Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey 

  • Read the Opening Chapter of The Thrill of it All by Joseph O'Connor

    The Thrill of it All: Chapter 1 by Joseph O'Connor


Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest
Joseph O'Connor
Interviewed Guest
Louise Welsh
Interviewed Guest
Andrew Wilson
Interviewed Guest
Clara Farmer
Interviewed Guest
David Baddiel


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