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'The Mabinogion, then, has some fantastical and imaginative tales, and I’m especially drawn to the way it deals with loss and with grief, which I sometimes think that literature, in all its desire to preserve and record, is always really about. '
'It is the loss of faith that I find so resonant today. It is resonant because we no longer stress over how faith-less we are. How would my post-Camus, post Jean-Baptiste man, (a theatre director, not a barrister) behave if he had left that stranger to drown? '
'‘Welcome home Odysseus. I’m glad you finally made it back. I’m relieved that you have had a bath. From the bedroom window I saw you after you slaughtered the suitors and got our son to rip off Melanthius’s genitals and feed them to the dogs.''
'In my rewrite of It’s a Wonderful Life, George would be Georgia. On a cold Christmas Eve, she sits alone. Born at a time that allowed her dreams, but no chance to pursue them. The wife who made her husband’s life easier and the mother who made cakes.'
'I respect Steinbeck, but think he missed a trick in Of Mice And Men. Lenny is brain-damaged, but Lenny is not the only vulnerable character. Curley's wife deserves more detail, more compassionate insight. I would develop her character.'
'I'd love to rewrite Barnaby Rudge. Principally, to do justice to the most interesting and unusual character in the book — Hugh, hostler and principle rioter, is crude, earthy, sexy, torn between a basic decency and anarchy for anarchy's sake.'
'My personal favourite — one of the most startlingly inept sequences in thrillerdom's history — when Richard Hannay is on the run in Scotland and he takes refuge in an isolated house, which turns out to be the baddies' HQ. '
'Ophelia's story is so unjust and so slight, that I would give her more of a backbone and her story more heft, and Gertrude's seems full of undeveloped potential. I wouldn't presume to change the outcome of this tragedy.'
'At the end of Basil we are told cryptically that Ralph is 'emancipated from many of the habits which once enthralled and degraded him', but I find this statement glib and improbable. I think he has many more adventures ahead.'
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