A Man Out of Time

BS Johnson was an experimental author in the sixties who challenged the form of the novel in ways that the modern day digitally savvy authors would appreciate.


His most famous book ‘The Unfortunates’ was known as the book in a box consisting of loose leaf sections that could be read in any order – thus replicating the randomness of memory. He not only wrote novels, he also wrote plays and poems as well as being a film maker. I have often wondered how he would have embraced the digital era; without doubt I think he would have been one of its pioneers.

As a footnote I have a very personal connection with this book, because it is about my parents and I am actually a character in the book too.

Read Jonathan Coe’s article about BS Johnson’s work on The Spectator>


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