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David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, has launched an online book club to honor his avid reading father, and its first pick, a novel originally published in 1985, is already a bestseller on AbeBooks
Jones described his father, who died in January 2016, as “a beast of a reader,” and got the book club up and running on Twitter by naming Peter Ackroyd’s 1985 novel Hawksmoor as the debut selection.
Alright gang! Anyone who wants to join along, we are reading Peter Ackroyd’s “Hawksmoor,” as an amuse cerveau before we get into the heavy stuff. You have until Feb 1. ❤️
– Duncan Jones
This novel was last published in 2010 and is out-of-print, so Bowie fans have turned to the used book market to find copies. Yesterday, Hawksmoor was AbeBooks’ bestselling book and most searched for title.
David Bowie’s official Instagram account said: “Hawksmoor is in DAVID BOWIE’S TOP 100 BOOKS list, indeed it’s one of the books we illustrated in our montage back in 2013. It’s also a work we’ve loved for a long time here at DBHQ, since David first recommended it many years ago.”
Hawksmoor won Best Novel at the 1985 Whitbread Awards and the Guardian Fiction Prize. It’s described as postmodern by critics. Two stories run in parallel but in different eras – one character is building churches in 18th century London while a modern 1980s detective is investigating murders committed in the same churches.
Ackroyd, a CBE, writes mainly about the history and culture of London. He has written biographies on artist William Blake (seen as the best, most readable bio on Blake by some), author Charles Dickens and poet TS Eliot.
There has been much interest in Bowie’s list of favorite books since his death from cancer. The list stretches from Homer to modern bestselling authors like Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz. Bowie was rumored to read a book a day, and his taste ranged from A Clockwork Orange to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Saul Bellow’s Herzog, as well as Orwell, Faulkner, Kerouac, and Capote.