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September 22, 2019

[Spoiler alert]

When I set about writing this particular blog, I hadn’t realised there were five ‘fields’ in the novel to talk about. I was vaguely thinking about two or three, but it seems they’re more of a theme than that. Each of them were scenes of pivotal moments in Lydia's life.

First, there are the school playing fields at Great Mounts College, where Lydia was saved from the bullies, Madie and Tates. The college and its fields were based on my own college at Hinckley, John Cleveland College, where, it so happens, I overheard the idea that inspired the awful events on the recreation ground later in the same chapter.

Second, that recreation ground. It was based on the real rec behind B...

June 16, 2019

I'm a huge fan of dining scenes in film and literature. Whatever the story, I just want to be right in there with them, enjoying the meal. So, it's no surprise to me that there are several dining scenes in I Am Not Gog. All of the dining locations are based on real eateries and their fictional names have allegorical significance. Let's have a little nibble at the most important ones...

The photo above is of Brookside Fish Bar in Hinckley, which our family used to frequent when I was a child (forty years ago). As far as I can remember, it was Dad's role to fetch the fish supper in his car if we were to indulge. It was like a Mum's night off. When I was a bit older, I'd drop by after school wit...

April 14, 2019

Here is an example of a boarded-up Edwardian terraced house in Grimsby, the likes of which served as a squat for Maggie and the Eriphions, where they held what Lydia calls their 'Mad-hatter's Tea Party'. To be fair, this party only went pear-shaped from Lydia's perspective, because everyone else in attendance drank magic-mushroom tea and were about to embark on an hallucinogenic trip. It probably went perfectly well for them.

In a wider shot you can see most of the houses here are boarded up. At the time this photograph was taken in 2006, only the one on the left and the white one, second from the end on the right, were occupied. Which of any of them might be 83 New Redlord Row, is up to you....

March 9, 2019


This scene came as a surprise to me very late on in the writing of I Am Not Gog, and it was great fun for me, at least. It comes at a time just prior to a great crisis in Lydia’s life. It foreshadows a moment of great vulnerability and fear for Lydia, when Karl makes his most sleazy and sneaky move on her.

It’s her birthday and she’s having breakfast when three contractors come in, Karl, Fred, and George. Karl introduces himself and tries to chat her up. In light of this blog's title, you might now suspect that these three represent Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Georg W F Hegel. They do.

Marx and Engels were students of Hegel, who, of course, formulated the Hegelian Dialectic. Simply p...

February 24, 2019

[Spoiler alert]

Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of I Am Not Gog’s publication. There are two churches in Lydia’s story. Four years after publishing it, I have only just realised myself that their two appearances in the novel both happen to separately precede events that lead to the death of innocent men, each of which in turn precipitates great upheaval in Lydia’s life. This was not done consciously, I’m sure. The two church scenes developed completely independent of each other. The story called for their existence and their natural place within it. As writer’s often say, writing fiction is sometimes like excavating dinosaur skeletons. You’re often discovering the story, rather than de...

June 10, 2018

Here are a few photographs that I took during my research trip to Cleethorpes and Grimsby in 2006. I had no idea I’d be showing them to you now, so they are just snaps. I’m not a brilliant photographer.

This was the last of Lydia's three refuges, under the pier on Cleethorpes beach. Then, it was midnight and raining. From this angle, you'd be looking directly at her, face to face.

The next two photos are of her tiny guest-house room on Abraham's Road, where she dwelt for almost all of the rest of her time in Cleethorpes. The actual name of the road is 'Isaac's Road', but I needed to change it so that none of the Abrahamic faiths were either excluded or emphasised in relation to the allegory, t...

October 12, 2017

The life of a slave has not always been a disagreeable existence. Often, it was quite comfortable and felicitous, comparable to modern employment, with benefits and security, even career development. The slave wouldn’t have dreamed of protesting his predicament. It was the way the world was and to him it was all right and proper. Perfectly fine and dandy. He wouldn’t have seen it as we see slavery today. He would have seen it as we see employment. To the slave, whatever word his culture used for slavery would pretty much mean ‘employment with benefits, security, and accommodation’.

He wouldn’t have seen it as wrong. He wouldn’t have been conscious that the social structure he had inhabited...

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This is a repository of insights about the novel I Am Not Gog (and future work). There will be new insights every month or so until we have a full library and nothing is left unexplored. If you came here to find out more about the allegory of the novel, start by clicking HERE.

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I Am Not Gog. A novel by Matthew James Hunt.

© 2015-2019 Matthew James Hunt. INKTAP Publishing