A few words on this video clip. It was filmed — as should be obvious — in the back of a London cab, beginning as it crossed Vauxhall Bridge, continuing as it headed up through Victoria, and then continuing, as its route and the route taken by Dave Rudman, in the opening sequence of The Book of Dave, intersect. Finally, it comes to an end on the Edgware Road, where Dave’s fare is staring bemusedly at the promenading Arabs.
I’ve no idea whether it will help the viewer to get the frenetic, sweaty, minatory, gloomy atmosphere of the book — but perhaps it will. I wanted this passage to take the reader by the scruff of the neck and shove his or her face in the great, steaming, two-millennium-old pile of human shit that is London. I wanted it to carry them along on the crest of a collapsing wave of fin de siecle urbanity, as it broke on the sharp reef of the present. I wanted … oh, but, what the hell, who gives a damn what I wanted.
What I will say, is that after I’d finished doing the filming, with two charming young publicists from Penguin, I went to the Algerian Coffee Stores and bought two kilos of yerba mate. Why have I become addicted to drinking this South American herbal mulch? I think the answer is obvious.