@ cut-up fiction

I don’t get fame. I don’t understand what you’re supposed to do

 I WANT YOU to bring me dead terrorists.

I want it to feel like you’re holding my beating heart in your hand.

We are trying to make our world better.

Spying is a vile profession, for sociopaths pretending to be patriots.

I always planned to join the SAS.

I was an alcoholic for 30 years. Well, I still am – but I haven’t had a drink in quite some time.


Having a bad day doesn’t reflect who I am as a person.

I miss bitter, cheese and onion crisps … and curry.

Hello? Hello?’ Slowly, as in a dream, the gibberish resolved into language. ‘It’s Jerry’ the caller was shouting. Oh my God, I thought. It’s him.

I am very anti-bourgeois.

You’ll have to add that to my list of war crimes.


Gosh, full armpit hair. I haven’t seen that in a while.

There was a lot of flirting on the bus.

Sergio is one of the funniest guys on the planet. He is a natural guy to tell stories. He often has people in stitches.

I only managed to lose £10 in about 20 minutes on the roulette game before I got bored.

I couldn’t keep up with what we did at 30 – I wouldn’t want to miss a night’s sleep these days.

If I’m honest the English girl scares the shit out of me. But by the end of the evening I very badly want her to be my girlfriend.

You sober up instantly in moments such as these. Except you don’t. You’re just scared as well as hammered.


Dali wanted to film me nude running through his garden.

I didn’t really understand what being homeless meant. But it can happen to anybody, overnight.

Some people went down the party path and got fed up with it. I went down the addiction path and had to see it to its end.

People always think that after all the shows and crazy things you do, you have to be confident. Forget it! It’s getting even more scary every time.

I once sold a couple of silk boxer underpants to the gloriously beautiful Cindy Crawford.


What does it take to get a drink round here? Gurning’s getting me nowhere.

I have no interest in pointing at things, and running and screaming.

Arthur is trying to peddle wheat-based, starch-ridden, sugar-encrusted spheres of death.

I’d like a Melchizedek of champagne – 40 bottles in one. And I’m 40 this year.


They must be crazy. Are they going to swim ashore in front of our guns?

Insane things happen behind prison walls … it can change a person.

I tore the artery. A jet of blood started to pump upwards. I knew at once this was a catastrophe.


I never cook or eat at home – I keep cooling, soothing fabric masks on hand in the fridge.

I could spend the next 80 years of my life thinking what life could have been like.

There is some intrinsic ancient connection between what’s funny and what’s scary.

The only way to deal with such a monster is to head down the route of comedy.

You should sleep as little as you can, and try and change the world.

This sanguine view of the developed world does not apply to the emerging markets, where a storm is brewing.

Stories I care about happen to be where there is war.

In my 20s I lived through an era of terrible political events and suspicious deaths.

Money has emotional weight. It is as much a part of my personality as it is a part of Warren Buffet’s.


I don’t have any friends. I find it really, really hard to have relationships with other men.

I’m not controversial at all, and whatever I’ve said I meant. My views are not special. They are only controversial if your brain is stuck in 1957.

A high-scoring psychopath views the world very differently. One of my inmates said he felt like a cat in a world of mice.

Life has no meaning – we are mere meat robots programmed to replicate.

Sometimes, when all else fails, you have to be able to backup your diplomacy with force.


There are two of me.

We left when the bullets were falling like rain.

Why can’t we cure death yet?

I haven’t had more than three and a half hours sleep in 12 years.

The atmosphere was explosive. A group of kids said: ‘What are you doing here, whitey?

Marriage in China is a living hell.

For years everybody thought I was crazy. I think I’m crazy, so we’re all at the same ball game.

What’s the point in staying in a hotel and just ordering room service?

Death is not curable because it is not a disease.


Online the nipple count is infinite and the content so hardcore it makes today’s magazines look quaint.

Ladies’ noses are eaten away, men’s foreheads covered with warts.

So we’re getting married. Never mind we can always get divorced.

How could I be with someone for 38 years and they just walk out the door and kill themselves?

If your orgasm has gone AWOL, you need to switch brands as soon as possible.

I feel angrier than I ever felt then.

You start off kicking against the system then you become the thing to kick against. I feel more mainstream now.


I was first admitted into a room with six beds in what resembled an ill-designed prison block.

My most vivid memory is looking down on a crowd of more than a million people.

I realise that I not only have to forgive my father. I have to forgive myself.

For years, I felt I needed to be more prepared than anyone else.

Instead of slowly unravelling and becoming a psychotic alcoholic, I started out as a psychotic alcoholic.

Why was I so vicious? Was I unfair?

I do not regret knowing Kim. He enriched my life for many years and I owe a lot to him.


I’m eight years-old here and happy. At the time, France seemed like the future, whereas England was still effectively culturally pre-war and very badly off.

Politics is nothing!

We just want to go home.

On Friday night I am in a soulless hotel room waiting to have soulless sex I will mistake for being full passion.

I’ve got Mongolian blood, Kazakh blood, Jewish and Russian blood and I was born in Moscow. So imagine.

If I allowed myself to go really nuts, I don’t know … it could be dangerous.

I was driven. What I was prepared to do to get my dreams was, basically, die.

This could have gone horribly wrong in so many ways – it was a real act of faith.


I told my boss I had to go and meet Dustin Hoffman. He said, ‘Sure, I got to go meet Christopher Walken’.

I was so fed up I retired for a few months but now I’m back with a vengeance.

I didn’t think anyone else understood. I refused to talk about it. I just wanted to die.

I’ve been trying to deal with the old subjective v objective chestnut since the age of 12 or 13.

It’s all about attack. As soon as I step out there I feel confident, I feel like I grow as a person, I just love being out there.

I’m happy it happened the way it did. I appreciate the hell out of every moment.

I’ve been quite lucky from time to time not to be behind bars myself. Fortunately, that is all behind me now.

I still think of myself as an outsider, so I need to speak loudly and sometimes harshly.



Having cancer gives you a different perspective. It’s almost worth it. Almost.

Tummy in, shoulders down, chin up, legs straight, feet out – and relax,’ he says. I just stand there.

Let’s meet in NYC and go out with a bang.


As empires weaken, the cry goes up: ‘Why should we be a minority in your country, when you could be a minority in ours?

It seemed like we were going somewhere,’ sighs a prominent businessman. ‘But now we’ve ended up in a totalitarian country.

Not being political was, of course, a kind of politics, especially in the Cold War.

It’s all nonsense, but nonsense can be pernicious if taken seriously.


I decided that if I was going to be a bum, I might as well live in this romantic way.

Taking people’s pictures at 3am humiliated them.

The thing that took me by surprise was how little I knew about mental health.

She likes to borrow trouble.

If anything, I’m a touch introverted.


In the far distance five violet, magical mountains soared. I had found the heart of this world.

I tried heroin. I mean, I never got into it; I never died from it but I’ve had 19 friends who died.

In a couple of weeks I became a doddering old man.

She realises her hair and skin are frazzling to a crisp.

People have stopped trolling me. The only ones who Tweet me now say, ‘I’m your biggest fan.

Twitter is yet to be ablaze with stock tips, and no one has written a bestseller on why it’s different this time.

Modern surveillance is a digital version of microphones in your house and having all your mail steamed open.


I expected wilderness; people living on the edge of it. I imagined cowboys and ghost towns.

I was almost beheaded by guys with machetes.

My skin was dry as dog biscuits, my lips were cracked and a sun blister was trying to take over my nose.

I thought to myself, ‘These men are well brought up. They have grandmothers and sisters. They have become monsters. But they were not always monsters.’

I saw people falling around me – they were just gone. I suddenly realised, shit, this was war.


I work in Congo a lot and there is always a problem getting in.

The white males justified abuse by claiming that female slaves were promiscuous.

Oscar was very angry. I saw him shoot out of the car roof.

After swallowing balls of raw black opium he always insisted on a nice cup of Earl Grey tea.

A war of words is a sign that things are working well. But mostly, things are not working well.


You know, a lot of people would love to be mistaken for a teenager.

A waitress has just flirted relentlessly with some tough guys.

Flies crawled under eyelids, into ears and nostrils, and when they gave up at night the mosquitoes took over.

Our money will be going into the black hole of one of the most kleptocratic countries on earth.

The last Chinese official to be open about his golf habit spent the final years of his life under house arrest.

They don’t give one-word answers. They don’t really seem like teenagers any more.


He brought me to the library every fortnight from when I was eight until I was 17.

Relationship lessons from fictional lovers (and popcorn, too).


Prostitute’ and ‘whore’ are words you hear a lot, the conservative mindset being that women who work alongside men are somehow promiscuous.

In confessions, sex with the Devil was described as painful and very, very cold.

My sex drive returned and suddenly I could exercise and do the things I needed to.

I’ve yet to give a great performance.


I want to waitress. I want to work at WHSmith. I want to do everything.

A black female High Court judge will be deciding the fate of a rich white man.

Clues were hidden in books, diaries and photos.

I feel like a man in the morning and a girl in the evening – I fall in love with the person, not the gender.


Here you have the freedom to do what you want on your own terms.

I’ve had offers from all over the world. Modelling, cooking, newspaper columns, holidays … why me?


His house is not a shrine to egomania, but a work of art in its own right.


When the king is unhappy, he shouts at you. When he is happy, he gives you a hug. The prince never shouts and never hugs.

The Inquisition was unhappy about the inclusion of a jester holding a parrot.

I should have an intelligent answer about the Gaddafi costume. But I just thought it was funny.

Wait a second – isn’t that Matthew McConaughey’s manager by the plastic tortoises?

There’s a huge demand for this kind of product in Britain.


You really think I’m going to wait behind an Arab?

She stares at me, eyes wide. ‘I don’t know why you must ask these horrible things.’

She is following a programme designed by NASA.

I only did four therapy sessions but I learnt a lot.

It’s fashion for hot nerds and I want in.

What the heck was that about? When we exchanged spies in the Cold War it wasn’t celebrated live on TV.


You goad them to throw stones, then arrest them.

Of course you can call back,’ said the policewoman. ‘It’s never too late to report a hate crime.

An Arab who passes by too closely is cursed.

By the time the autopsy took place, it was already probably invalid.

We’re in a dark and lonely place and it will only get worse.

I know I have great inner strength. I can blank things out, cut people out, and go and live in a cave if necessary.


Sistine Chapel or Vence Chapel? I wouldn’t want to choose.

The idea of paradise is overimagined – and has therefore become commercialised, trivial.

We used to have heroin addicts in the audience, basically gouching out on live TV.

When the phrase ‘the American dream’ went viral, it mutated.


My parents left me in the hotel room and music wafted up from the disco below.

There before me lay a pair of lady’s knickers. Black. More structured and supportive than I would have liked.

When the tone at the top is ‘anything goes’, anything will go.

I’ve never consciously sat down and watched the whole thing.

It’s fair to say that between the ages of 25 and 45, I was a monogamous sex fiend.

I made every mistake in the book. But making mistakes is how you learn.


Imagine how frustrating your life would be without elbows.

Whatever punch you avoid will hit you from some other direction. It’s like playing Total Wipeout without the fun.


For each improvement in society there have been huge steps back towards barbarism.

In 1777, when a wealthy forger was hanged, 100,000 people turned out to watch.

What’s more self-deluded than the idea humans might achieve some state of superiority?

The way Turks talk about their country sounds like religious fervour.

The communists have been here for 90 years. They know how to win!


Nietzsche used to stand for hours under a particular lemon tree.

He beds old ladies, out of choice, because filet steak is all very well, but ‘the cheaper cuts are more flavourful’.

He visited a jail and kissed the feet of women as well as Muslims.

He wasn’t armed but they said take him down.

His book will make a lot of people angry.

The day you are not angry any more, you are getting old and you will die.

You thought I had nothing to say. You were mistaken. But I remained silent.


We will all be poorer in the future …




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