Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Platform Souls by Nicholas Whittaker


In one of my much mourned (by me at least) columns for the New Statesman website I wrote that in a just world Nicholas Whittaker's Platform Souls would have done for trainspotting what Fever Pitch did for football.

The book was also a strong influence on Professor Strange when he gave his thoughts on trainspotting and autism.

I have just discovered that the whole of Platform Souls is available on the web, so you can enjoy it for yourself:

In December 1994 a man found guilty of stealing rare bird eggs was described by the prosecution as a kind of `railway spotter' - one more step in the demonisation process and a rather sinister one. It's one thing to make fun of a man for liking trains, but to use him as a stereotype for a criminal is surely dangerous.

The trouble is, people have never forgotten that Michael Sams, the infamous kidnapper/murderer, was a quiet man whose hobby was trainspotting. Such things sink into the collective subconscious and stay there...

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

Thanks for the quotation!

nick W