An exclusive extract from Alan Davies' new novel, 'My Favourite People'.
In 1978 I collected stickers assiduously, doggedly, obsessively and privately, in a fog of seeking and accumulating.
There was a sticker book called Motorcycle 78 and another called Football 78 and filling the appropriate space with the appropriate image was satisfying but no cheap thrill. I was also afflicted with a potent, potentially upsetting, not to mention pricey, emotional attachment to Arsenal Football Club that had taken root early in the decade and by 1978 ought to have been a source of concern for those who ought to have been concerned. By then though I was an eleven-year-old pathological liar and kleptomaniac so why would anyone be concerned?
In 1978 I had joined the Barry Sheene Appreciation Society, the Starsky & Hutch Fan Club and the Arsenal Supporters Club. I was an enthusiastic joiner. I loved having membership cards. I wanted to belong to something, to feel part of a group, a collective. Perhaps, in part, this was tribal boy stuff, looking for societies and clubs and gangs. For me though, these were solitary activities. My things that I
liked. I didn’t join to meet people. Deeply ingrained in my siblings and me throughout our growing up was a fear of new people and the perils associated with them, principally of conversation, of having to listen or contribute to it, for a time rarely specified, often with no end in sight. This was a reason to be fearful and we became expert solo players. To
this day I have no interest in hooking my games console to the internet. I’ll play alone, thank you. Fortunately when...
You can buy your copy of, 'My Favouite People' here.