(To read the novel you will need to go to the January and February archive 2018, see below to the right)

The next post will be around the UK Easter or before


VALERIE WALKERDINE, Research psychologist, UK

It’s hilarious John! You mean the website we talked on was just research for your new novel? I have often wanted to do something myself about the men I have encountered……

JM replies

It’s a nice fantasy, Valerie, but I did not decide to go online dating 3 and a half years ago, in order to write a novel about it. Apart from selfishly playing about with someone else’s heart and soul, I would also have been playing recklessly about with my own heart and soul, and both of those options seem bad ideas to me. The same answer would apply to Jane X below, for if I am as selfish and cynical as she evidently sees me, I would not have risked hurting myself much less anyone else. Selfish and cynical people don’t risk anything as a rule.

JANE X (for her confidentiality’s sake, not mine)

Seriously not impressed, and hadn’t quite realised that your personal forays into online dating were in fact fishing trips for characters, using your location as a hook for dreamers. Shame.


I read everything Joe had to say of his experience with Lovebirds. I had often thought it would be a great subject for a book myself, as the experience is certainly enlightening. Good idea to post a chapter a day. As in the wonderful days of the Pickwick Papers, it left the readers to wait in anticipation for the next chapter. I found it light-hearted with a good sense of the ridiculous and yet painted a very true picture of what we are all like with our quirks, idiosyncrasies and fantasies. How much of it is imaginary (Samara’s mouse ?) only you can know. I certainly recognized myself with the yoga (great for the spine) and Radio Phaw (occasionally) but you obviously also have a great gift for telling a story and am sure had plenty of fun relating it. Seen from a woman’s point of view would also be fun.

FABRIZIA BALDISSERA, Sanskrit professor, Firenze, Italy

The new novel is great. Otherwise compliments for the great writing!

KEVIN PEARCE, Blogger, London

Finally got the chance to finish The Lawless Book of Love which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m not just saying that, either. Very much warmed to Great Uncle Wilfred, the ghost. I am still trying to work out whether you have made me more attracted to the idea of trying online dating or whether after reading this I would be terrified of what might happen. Anyway, great work, and I have a horrible suspicion I don’t think I will be able to get some of Wilfred’s wonderful mangling of names out of my head, and I certainly will never be able to hear anyone mention Desert Island Discs again without sniggering mischievously.Will spread the word!

MARTINA CARALY, Interpeter, Strasbourg, France

I really enjoy your novel chapters. I love the depiction of the character Maggie Binding in Chapter 2 who is deprived of backbone. I wonder if I wasn’t like that before waking up? Am reading your chapters slowly to enjoy every bit of it, as though your words were candies. Am not reading enough (I am at Chapter 6) but when I do pick it up it gives me joy. I try to imagine you crafting the dialogue, characters etc, in your local joint, the Kythnos café where you write.

THERESA GIFFARD, Events Organiser, London

Have much enjoyed your story, Mr Murray.

CHRISTOPHER BURNS, Novelist, Cumbria, UK

I hope you get a positive response on the new novel soon. It seems infused with your own distinctive energy. It occurs to me that it’s a kind of nod to, or tribute, or reinvention of structures used by Boccaccio, Chaucer, etc. Pity Pasolini isn’t still around – he could have bought the film rights!

IONE MURRAY, Trainee Software Engineer, Leeds, UK

I really laughed at the comical sternness of the uncle’s infant expression and his being lit up like a cheap Christmas tree from Woolworth’s. And Maggie Binding’s old husband who was short, dapper and inordinately fond of blazers. And Joe Soap being inordinately obsessed with mental arithmetic and chronology. I can see really vividly everything you described and love reading your stuff.


I’ve read the first few chapters of your book and am loving it and looking forward to reading more.

JULIA HAMILTON, Writer, Oxford, UK

I’ve been reading your book and enjoying it a lot – it’s mad and beautiful in parts

NB. All new responses will be added as they arrive, so this is not a finished issue…













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