Stephen O’Toole on Stephen O’Toole.
A review of Stephen O’Toole’s Pangur Ban Party e-Book: Tusk
by Stephen O’Toole
Tusk concerns a man (me) and a non-man (female). The non-man is based on four different women, only one of whom was (is?) Finnish and only two of whom were (are?) real. At the time that I wrote Tusk, I was in love with all of these women. Love is a nice feeling, I find, especially if you enjoy spending money.
The Finnish girl’s real name was Ronja. She had a difficult surname, but a simple sort of nose. I met her in a pub on Valentine’s Day 2008, which was, that year, on the 14th of February. A few days later, on a warm train near some water, I looked at her face and thought, ‘Well this is it, isn’t it?’ In about a month, she’d moved back to Finland. The last time I heard from her was about six months after that. Months are the scaffolding of years and years are the things that make birthdays happen. Ronja said that she was back in Glasgow and that she had a free hour. I texted her back to say what a coincidence that was, because I had a similarly free hour. She never replied.
If I was to try and write this chapbook now, I would have to have it open in a tab on Firefox because I’ve forgotten most of it.
I remember writing a bit of it on a train and I remember writing a bit of it whilst kneeling ‘prayer style’ against my bed and I remember writing a bit of it in a GP’s office.
At that time, Tusk was the longest thing I had written, and it was, at the same time, ~5000 words. It remains ~5000 words, even though it is no longer the longest thing that I have written.
As a series of sentences, I’d say that Tusk is successful, but it’s success is diminished by the fact that I tried to put these sentences into some sort of meaningful order.