Book - Channel Skin

Jeff Noon Channel Skin

Kneel Downe raids his archives and finds his Noonian thoughts on Channel Skin...


I’ve waited ten long years for this… When my preview copy arrived in my inbox this very Monday I was inundated with messages of jealousy and congratulations. You must be so excited. You must be so happy. You must be on cloud nine… Nope…what I felt was trepidation and not a little fear. We all have heroes, be they musical, artistic or sporting. We have all felt that momentary doubt…is this a fight, an album, a book too much? Ten long years have passed since I last held a Noon book in my hands. Was this a bout too far? To reach the heights you once set…to meet expectations is one thing. To smash them is another. Rest easy dear reader…the wait has been worth it. Let me first say, this review will contain only the barest of plot information. I have never been a fan of spoilers. What you get will be just enough. Here we are more interested in the style and the quality of this work. Please…read on…

The KLEIN-ZECKER BROADCASTING signal is being wheeled out in your area soon. Utilising Fractal Wave Technology it promises to bring you an experience like never before…. Noon, like all artists of any worth, has always reinvented himself with every new work. Like Bowie he has worn many masks. The core remains but the delivery system mutates and changes. First we had the Cyber-punk drug laced hyper reality of VURT et al…then we entered the dub-remixing period (Wordplay at it’s most fluid and exciting) this was followed by the criminally underrated FALLING OUT OF CARS. Then we had silence. What lies within these electronic pages is the culmination of what Falling out of Cars only hinted at. It is only a matter of months since I sat with the good man himself. Coffee was consumed. Cake may have been eaten. Outside, the weather treated us to a downpour worthy of our shared Manchester heritage. What I found was a man reinvigorated. Alive. Excited by the future. A man enamoured by the complexities of script writing. I mention this because this love is pertinent to CHANNEL SK1N. This is Noon’s fourth face…a new phase and at it’s heart lies the lessons learnt from ten years of trimming and re-writing. As he explained, sometimes less is more. Let the words do the talking.

Here then is a new style. Noticeably Noon and yet stripped and clean like never before. Hardly a single word is superfluous. What is left paints the pictures you expect. The surreal imagery you demand. Nola Blue is a Music Star. A sensation. An icon in a thoroughly modern world. Come with us and follow her tale. Her transformation… All fiction of worth is simply an explanation of a character’s ultimate transformation. Be it mental, emotional or in some cases physical. With Noon it has often been all three. Here again, we follow the steady and inescapable progress of change. From Beetle’s fate in Vurt to the slow dissolution of Falling out of Cars, change and morphication bleed through his back catalogue like colours from a feather. It’s all here. Falling apart. Futures not yet dreamed. Imagery so sharp it will cut your mind. Hints and clues to a universe wider than the one you currently inhabit. A cheeky nod or two to the past. (Hobart Projections anyone?) With Noon novels I have a well worn routine: Read once for the experience. Twice for the story. Three times for the simple joy of words. CHANNEL SK1N delivered all three in one sitting.

We can not leave without mentioning the superb and unsettling artwork by Curtis Leon Fee. Drafted in to provide covers for all of Jeff’s eBooks he provides a thematic template for all Ten books. Yes reader…TEN books…seems like we won’t have such a long wait this time…

Welcome back Mr Noon.

We missed you.

Image - Amazon.

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