Writing a novel is an act of self-annihilation as much as self-discovery. You can kill whole appetites and flood whole depths while plumbing them, but if you are serious about it you also get to put something into the world that wasn't quite there before.
I wasn't like other boys. At any rate, I wasn't like my three elder brothers: they excelled at football and they were like other boys, going up to bed each night hugging annuals filled with stories about the glories of Pele and Danny McGrain.
The working class of England take their deracination completely for granted. Disenchantment is the happy code that informs every byway of the underclass: service jobs, celebrity dreams, Lotto wins, leisured poverty on pre-crunch credit cards, it's all there, part of the story of an English people whose grandparents never had it so good.
As an old creative industry full of cruelty and moral sense, British journalism once flourished on the imperative that people required the truth in order to survive. But people don't require that now. They want sensation and they want it for nothing.