Damien M Love
Harking back to a simpler time, Damien Love’s debut novel Like Clockwork came in to the world in six parts, published weekly, like an old pocket-money serial. The modern twist on this classic publishing formula is that Like Clockwork was released exclusively on Kindle and so is, unlike the boys’ adventure serials with which it shares a large amount of its genes, paper-free.
It follows Alex, normal teenager and victim of a very abnormal assassination attempt, perpetrated by a strange clockwork robot. Alex consults his Grandfather, a loveable, garrulous figure and the go-to guy for odd robot antics, and the two set off, zigzagging from one glamorous cosmopolitan capital to the next, dodging shadows, fighting bad-guys and trying to uncover a mystery that spans the whole of continental Europe.
Now all the episodes of the novel have been released into the world the experience of reading Like Clockwork will have a very different feel to readers just coming into contact with it. The story is written at such a pace it becomes almost breathless, and now, without enforced hiatuses to punctuate the reading experience, it is a book easy to accidentally finish in a series of ‘just one more page’s. This is an adventure that falls into the category of good, old-fashioned entertainment, and now it exists in its entirety it is up to the reader to choose: binge on the whole of Like Clockwork in one sitting, or ration it out to recapture the feeling of the old serialised adventure story, letting yourself brood between episodes on what might happen next.
Damien Love writes about movies, music and television for, among others, The Guardian, Uncut, The Sunday Herald and The Scotsman.
Like Clockwork was in the running for our 2013 First Book Award.