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Murphy's Favourite Channels

Authors: John Murray

Published by Flambard Press

ISBN: 9781873226681

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Looking back, the eponymous Roe Murphy finds that his life has, more often than not, bizarrely imitated his favourite television programmes. Can reality be mimicking the mass media? Or is television creating reality? What is the relationship between images on the screen and the so-called real world?

Then in 2001, the year of 9/11 in New York and the equally apocalyptic Foot and Mouth epidemic in the North of England, Murphy acquires his first satellite dish. Suddenly his universe expands and he is able to hop from channel to channel in a way he hadn’t dreamed of before, when he was limited to terrestial television. Now with almost unlimited access to cyberspace, which he flits around in a seemingly random fashion, he enters a world of crazy comedy. But what does this do for his real life, if he has one any more? Where does reality begin? Where does cyberspace end?

John Murray's previous novel, Jazz etc., was longlisted for the 2003 Man Booker prize. Critics praised it: Caroline Birch writing in the Times Literary Supplement described him as "A writer of talent, a lover of words and the games you can play with them", adding "Murray is intelligent and erudite and unprepared to compromise."

Anthea Lawson in The Times said "Murray demonstrates once again his uncanny ability to give his readers' stomach muscles a good workout as they attempt to stifle paroxyms of uproarious laughter for fear of being thought unhinged ... his phonetic rendering of Vince's language is a comic masterpiece."

John Murray was born in West Cumbria and now lives with his wife and daughter in Brampton, near Carlisle. In 1984 he founded the prestigious fiction magazine Panurge, which he and David Almond edited until 1996. He has published a collection of stories, Pleasure, for which he received the Dylan Thomas Award , in 1988, and six novels, Samarkand, Kin, Radio Activity, Reiver Blues, John Dory and Jazz Etc. John Dory won a Lakeland Book of the Year Award in 2002, and Jazz Etc. was longlisted for the Man-Booker Prize in 2003.
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