Interview – Oli Johns for Benny Platonov

1# Benny Platonov  Gupter Puncher/Oli Johns


Ok, what’s it about?


Benny Platonov will save the eight-hundred and fifty-seven homeless of Hong Kong.



Benny’s a writer, an artist without the art, but that’s just a detail. The art will come, the words will come.


Yeah, but why the homeless?


Benny has a heart. He cares. And the opposite, he hates.


Oh, who does he hate?


Them. The rich.


Anyone else?


His students, those he teaches at the University. They are all rich kids. ‘What do they know of suffering?’ he asks pretty much every lesson.


So, he’s bitter then?  


Yeah, possibly. He’s a lot of things. This is what literature can do better than film, right? It can get inside someone’s head, or it can show more sides to a person without making it seem out of character. So, Benny is many-sided, a dreamer, a romantic, but also unsure of himself. And he can be a real cunt sometimes.


So, if anyone wants it, where and when do they get it?


It’s on now, and will be on by October. It’s a long book so the price on lulu is a little expensive, but it should be cheaper on amazon if you want to wait a bit longer.


And in bookshops?


Not yet, maybe not ever. We’re unagented, unpublished the normal way.


Hang on, what does that mean for the quality of the YEAR ZERO books?


Well, I’m glad I’m interviewing myself and have the opportunity to ask and answer that question, because, in my mind, the quality is better. Except my book, of course. That’s a wildcard, might be good, might be shit. This is because I’m an amateur. But the others, they just don’t have a big enough market to get accepted by the industry. Basically, they got in, but the agents said they just couldn’t continue as the market wasn’t big enough. Anyway, I’ll let them answer this one for themselves.                                                                      


Great, let’s see what reviewers have said about ‘Benny Platonov’ so far…


“[The author] gives us a reference to the unevenness of the writing within the novel itself, begging the question: Is this just a didactic, novel-length response to his own shortcomings as a writer?”

 – STOO SEPP, Funk n’ dunk Magazine


“…from the opening paragraph it is apparent that this ‘thing’ was written by a pervert. A few more paragraphs and we can add misogynist. I dread to think what kind of writer we’ll have by the end of it…” – TOSCKA, Schlock is my frock

“I was out by page twenty. Crap.” – SIMON WARDLE, Pol Pot Pit



“…a guy sits in a park drinking beer and watching tramps with fannypacks, and he’s hurting, apparently. So what have we here? He’s gonna pick them all up and turn their lives around, get them jobs, give them some self-respect and change their lives? Ah no, wait…that’s right, he’s a writer. He’s gonna write about them…” – TREEHORN, The Internet

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