Published by Omnibus Press, July 2003. Available at all good British book stores for £9.95
Mail Order available through amazon.co.uk from £7.96 up. Musicroom.com ships air-mail to the USA for just $22.22.

THE COVER SAYS...

"New York, the early 1990s. In a city that has spiraled out of control, megaclub Hedonism attracts the abandoned and the abused, kids who flock to Manhattan to invent themselves anew. When DJ Skippy, the club's rising star, is shot in mysterious circumstances, his best friend Holy decides to solve the crime himself.

Hedonism is a fast action trip through a hard core underworld of pounding dance music, S&M sex and mountains of illegal drugs. It's a world populated by glamorous models, body-pierced dancers and heartless villains, a world where no-one sleeps and everyone is a suspect."

THE PRESS SAYS...

"An impressive thriller…(A) scarily accurate portrayal of club people in all their gore and glory."
Matthew Duffield, DJ

"Captures, vividly, a hedonistic scene that is by turns beautiful and downright fucked-up...The biggest night out that you'll ever have in." Ruth Saxelby, Jockey Slut

"A portrayal of Dionysian excess with a contemporary twist... Fletcher's prose is good and the deconstruction of DJ scenes, love and art is engaging."
Ali MacQueen, Record Collector

"Part thriller, part black comedy, part voyeuristic excursion into the seedy realms of S&M sex and heavy drug use, Hedonism will have you gripped from start to finish, guaranteed."
Russell Deeks, International DJ

OTHER WRITERS SAY...

"Witty, dirty and totally engrossing. Tony Fletcher's done his time in the techno trenches and it shows. Hedonism is a sparkling portrait of 90s New York club culture."
Chris Niles, Hell's Kitchen

"Tony Fletcher's descriptions of the intertwined strands of culture and sound that led to electronica are worth the price of admission."
Douglas Rushkoff. Bull, Ecstasy Club

"A whirlwind tour of New York City as the guide books never intended. For those who like their sex and drugs with plenty of droll."
Jemma Kennedy, Skywalking

"Blew me away. A gripping tale of the New York underground club scene and the fascinating characters that operate therein. It's funny, outrageous, gritty but without pretention."
Piper Terrett, Bedroom DJ

READ CHAPTER 1
WITH AUDIO/VIDEO
(for fast connections)
WITHOUT (for dial-ups)

READ CHAPTER 15
WITH AUDIO/VIDEO

LISTEN TO/DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL MUSIC from
HEDONISM
by
THE KINGSTON PROJECT
.



1) RED TO BLACK (8.1MB)
2) OUTLAWS GROOVE (8MB)

'Red To Black' by Fletcher
'Outlaws Groove' by Wilson
All tracks copyright control.

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WHY IS HEDONISM?

(AND WHY DO NOVELS TAKE SO DAMN LONG? A PRIMER.)

Continued from part 1.

The Halcyon presentation was such a success that many people assumed the novel was ready to be published. Not me. The chapters I’d read from worked well largely because they were by the best in the book. Other chapters were not so well-honed, the story dragged in the middle, and one character in particular was proving problematic. (Interestingly, this was the one who had escaped their walk-on part to take a lead role without my anticipation; as such, I had not fully developed her background before starting the novel and now saw that readers and writer alike didn't "know" that person sufficiently well to justify her central role.)

And so, I didn't attempt to sell the book. In fact, I decided on some time away from it. I spent the year 2000 back in the freelance world while also setting up the ijamming! web site. I also took on two more multi-media readings of Hedonism. One was a webcast for Pseudo.com, a pioneer of online broadcasting and one of the big dot.com boom-and-busts; though few people would have had sufficiently fast online connections to watch the performance on their computers, we got an old-fashioned VHS home video out of the company that looked like a proper professional television broadcast.

A photo from the Halcyon reading was used to promote the Pseudo webcast.

We converted snippets of this reading into QuickTime clips and I posted some of these alongside the first chapter of Hedonism here on the web site in early 2001. Doing so reinforced how exciting those theatrical presentations had been and made me anxious to edit and rewrite. I finally got the opportunity in the late spring, by doing what I think all fiction writers find necessary at some stage: I left my family, the city and all the combined distractions behind and holed myself up in a rural setting for a few months, during which period I rewrote the book from start to finish. Despite sometimes spending entire working weeks without conducting a proper conversation, I've probably never felt so creatively content.

At the end of the three-month process, Hedonism was complete. And I was satisfied. There was none of the frustration I'd suffered first time round. All I had to do was wait for the summer to end, and the publishing industry to return to work, and then hopefully I could start seeing the novel through to print.

Instead, we passed through September 11, the worst event ever to befall this wonderful city. That horrible morning, amidst all the death and destruction, and amongst all the other emotional trauma, I experienced two highly selfish and conflicting sensations. One was the sense that if I had to die right now, it would be in the knowledge that I'd taken time out in my life to fulfill an artistic ambition to the very best of my abilities – that I wouldn't go with any regrets. (I can see how dramatic that sounds in retrospect but believe me, we all entertained such serious thoughts in New York that morning.) The other was that none of it mattered, that Hedonism had been a complete waste of time, that nobody would or should give a damn about my New York novel now that New York had undergone the greatest catastrophe in its existence…that with thousands of people dead in an instant and America thrown into a war unlike any it had previously fought, my seedy little crime-in-the-clubs mystery was entirely irrelevant.

Time moves on, and though I still think there's some truth to that last statement, I also believe Hedonism covers an important period in this city's history that I haven't otherwise seen written about in fictional form. Still, my timing was far from perfect. I found an agent for Hedonism immediately, and she found plenty eager readers and ready supporters among young New York editors. But with the economy now in freefall and a new conservativism spreading through the nation, the senior editors among the New York publishers – those who agree the advances and especially, predict mid-America's responses – balked at such an explicit book. To some extent, I don't blame them. I hadn't originally intended Hedonism to be so hardcore, but once I started venturing down that track, I was unwilling to turn back. The world of which I write exists (at least it did, back then), and as I mentioned earlier, part of my initial New York experience had been to extract myself from a generation best summed up by the renowned play title No Sex Please, We're British.

Which makes it extremely ironic that Hedonism should be published first in Britain. Shortly after the book's completion, I sent a manuscript to my long-standing editor at Omnibus Press, Chris Charlesworth, who had been highly encouraging of my determination to write a novel, despite the fact that, because Omnibus only publishes non-fiction, he had nothing to gain from the process. Or so I thought. Instead, Chris came back, said that he'd read Hedonism and loved it, had shown it to his head of sales, who was similarly enthused, and that between them, they'd decided they would be keen to publish the book in the UK as their first foray into fiction if I was so inclined. Which I was: Omnibus have performed a stellar publishing job on my previous books, and I knew I could trust them to do their best on this one too – especially as it would be their first novel and they were just as keen to prove themselves as myself.

Best of all, Omnibus aren't encumbered by the year-long lead times so common in the publishing business. Given that Hedonism is set during a summer heatwave, and that it's designed and described as a 'page-turner', ideal for holiday reading, we were all eager to get the book out in the summer of 2003. I spent a few more weeks in February giving the book a final trim, we got a great cover design together almost immediately, and apart from the issue of whether Hedonism should be considered a "crime novel" (you'll see it sub-titled such on the back cover, against my wishes), the rest has seemed like so much plain sailing. After years of graft, the publication of the novel has come upon me at refreshingly rapid speed. Hedonism is here.

HOW IS HEDONISM?

For all my original multi-media intentions, Hedonism has been published in the old fashioned format of color binding around several hundred pages of black and white text. Which is fair enough: if it can't stand on its own as a straight-forward story, it doesn't deserve to be printed. I maintained interest in the soundtrack tie-in until the very end, but there was not enough time to see it through. Still, we've continued to think 'outside the box', as the marketers might put it. Omnibus printed up several thousand 16-page booklets, featuring excerpts from four chapters, which have been distributed to record stores, book shops and clothing outlets – the kind of promotional device I wouldn't expect most publishers to contemplate, let alone finance. And for the launch party in London, on July 17 2003, I conducted another audio-visual reading, this time from Chapter 36 of the finished book, with Chris Coco programming some of the Kingston Project's original music behind me, and video footage from the Pseudo performance projected behind him.

Here at the web site, the multi-media idea remains alive. You can read first draft versions of Chapter 1 and Chapter 15, and assuming you have the Quick Time plug-in installed, you can also view some video footage as you go along. The graphics surrounding the text and the video links are either from the Pseudo performance (Kevin is the one with dreadlocks, Jon is the one without) or from Thomas Gallagher’s video loops. Some of the character's names have changed over subsequent drafts, as of course has the dialogue, but the gist of the story remains very much the same. If you want a musical metaphor, consider these earlier versions as the rough mixes.

On the subject of which, you can also help yourself to a couple of our original pieces of music. They've been converted to MP3s at 192 kbps, 44.1 khz, the industry norms; click on the links to listen to them online, and do what you normally do if you want to download them. 'Red To Black' is heard during the third Quick Time clip in Chapter 1, while 'Outlaws Groove' accompanies Chapter 15, and can be heard during the first Quick Time clip. I'd like to think there will be more of these multi-media readings in the UK. There will definitely be some in the latter half of 2003 in New York. Keep checking back for details.


iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2003.