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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  February 3, 2018 10:45pm-11:01pm GMT

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field fiha’it field fihafi harvey before? and i'm told that harvey weinstein hasa before? and i'm told that harvey weinstein has a lot of e—mails from women who have accused him saying, glad to see you harvey, i will see you for my screen test next week. she then carried on making films with him, which i find extraordinary. because she is not a new girl on the block. if she was an 18—year—old looking., new girl on the block. if she was an 18—year—old looking. , we new girl on the block. if she was an 18—year—old looking., we understand how this thing works. she is uma thurman and then she carries on working the man who she says has behaved so badly. i haven't read the new york times interview but it is extraordinary. and of course, the agency is probably guessed things we re agency is probably guessed things were going on because of gossip. it's a small community in hollywood. but she is complicit if she carried oi'i but she is complicit if she carried on working. but on the other hand, she talks about things that she went through on l bale, that quentin tarantino made a drive a car that she knew was unsafe and she ended up
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crashing it and that is symbolic of the power that these men had. yes, but she is a famous actress and she is not broke. turn and walk away. the sunday express, jeremy carbon is their headline. labour leader leaves car guzzling gas on yellow lines. we cannot verify this, obviously. i think this is a chauffeur driven car, he has a driver and they say this was left running outside his house. i'm just wondering this was left running outside his house. i'mjust wondering how long the photographer sat in his car with the photographer sat in his car with the engine on waiting for that photo! somebody in that street would have said, come and take this picture. but the truth is, it's a nightmare if you are going to be in the public eye, you have to watch everything you do. but he talks
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about using the train or using his bicycle and he believes very strongly in all of that. he will have to get rid of the diesel.m strongly in all of that. he will have to get rid of the diesel. it is surprising that he has got a diesel car. it may not be his regular car. maybe he has no choice.” car. it may not be his regular car. maybe he has no choice. i think he will be cycling everywhere from now on! that's it for the papers this hour. you'll both be back in an hour. next, it is time for meet the author. we all watch other people, but most of us feel uncomfortable when we become too curious about them. why they're doing this or that, what they're thinking. consent by leo benedictus is a novel that describes the nightmare of a curiosity that becomes an obsession. cruel and destructive, it takes us into the mind of a stalker whose life is shaped by his targets, his victims. quite simply, it is a contemporary horror story.
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welcome. the central figure in this book has got a mind which is clearly disturbed. and you had to get inside it. because you're telling the story from his point of view for most of the book. how difficult was it to do that? i suppose the honest answer is it maybe wasn't as difficult as i'd like it to have been. what does that say about you? well, i know, i mean, i think for me... in a way the primary aspect of the book was the way that i am going to talk to readers, and the way that he is going to talk to readers. and i found that by talking in that intimate, deeply present way,
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that i think he feels in relation to the people that he stalks, i found myself quite naturally talking like him. i mean i spent a long time writing the book, about five years, and i think it probably grew overtime. but by the end of it i could talk like him at the drop of a hat, a bit too easily. we're talking about a man who is a stalker, who stalks dozens and dozens and dozens of people, remembers the first one and so on. it then becomes a violent obsession late in the book. but what fascinates me, as we were saying at the beginning there, is that we are all, to some extent, curious in that way. you can sit opposite somebody in the train and you think, why are they reading that, where are they going, what are they doing? but we all know there is a point beyond which you don't go. and imagining what happens when you don't have that control mechanism is really quite terrifying, isn't it? i think so. i certainly felt that way. do you know, i'd be interested to know how many other novelists feel this way,
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because being a novelist especially, i've found, after my first book, i was looking at people all the time, and making little mental notes all the time about details of behaviour and... someone would say something in a conversation and secretly i'd be at work thinking, that would be good, i can use that. i think all of us are stalkers in that way. in one sense, this character does some dreadful things in the second half of the book, it's just doing that, it's just that it becomes a habit and he thinks it's quite normal. yeah, he clearly never notices a moment when he goes off the rails, and i think really struggles with the idea that maybe he has gone off the rails, but he could put his finger on exactly when it happened. and i do like that idea as well of how blurred the line is between being interested in someone, maybe fancying someone, maybe wanting to talk to someone, maybe finding out a little bit more about them before you do. and before you know it you're standing outside their house. yeah, exactly.
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i mean, i think that's how it works for him, yeah. do you have an attraction to horror? i mean here we have a situation in which he is inside people's bedrooms, inside their heads, watching their most intimate behaviour, you know, their conversation with a lover for example. it's terrifying stuff. i suppose i must do, yeah. i don't know exactly why. i know that for a long time i felt when writing novels actually a sense of guilt about what i'm doing, because i know that i'm not doing it in the interest of readers, i'm not trying to bring them something generous and mind expanding, i'm just writing because i need to and i'm writing about what interests me. i'm hoping that i can grip their attention for long enough to make them interested. so he's just a writer who's gone a little bit further. well, yes he is, though i don't think i'm likely to go that far myself. but it's a way, certainly, of exploring those feelings i've always had about writing.
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when you began the story with the idea of getting inside the head of a man who is behaving in this very odd way, did you always know that it was going to end with some scenes that are difficult to read and must have been difficult to write? igot... i can't say i always knew, no. i think i knew he was going to lose control of himself, and i think probably if i'd analysed that i would have known, but in a way maybe i didn't want to know, just like he doesn't. well, i think to the reader, when you open this book, you do sense that it is going to end rather badly. i mean you don't think he's going to stop doing it. no, i wouldn't have thought so, and i don't think he has the ability to control himself, and i think he makes it clear from the beginning that he is trying to justify his own behaviour, trying to understand what he's done, hopefully make people understand him. there is an intriguing note on the dust cover of the book where you say, this book is an experiment.
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what exactly do you mean by that? well, to my mind it's an experiment between me and the reader. he is conducting experiments of various kinds on the people that he stalks, but it's also an experiment i think i'm making really to see how people will respond to this book. i won't necessarily know, of course, but i want to take people to the point, this involves stuff towards the very end of the book, where they've had a creepy and maybe horrifying experience. maybe they discover that it's been creepy and horrifying in a way they hadn't realised all along, and that is where it comes into the relationship with me writing a book. it's fascinating, i said at the beginning, that it was a contemporary horror story. and really, what you're talking about here, is a world in which, you know, individuals are moving in different ways, apart from being quite lonely,
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—— apart, being quite lonely, even in the context of, you know, their social lives. and this guy is somehow exploiting that. the solitary nature of contemporary life. were you very conscious of that? well, i was, i think particularly... the book is really, we talked all about him and it's a book split into two halves, really, between him and her. particular. frances, the woman that he stalks is, i think, quite a lonely person. i think a lot of people are quite lonely. we indeed have a lot of research on how widespread loneliness is. and that's her vulnerability, really. yeah, absolutely. i mean i think he wants to connect with people just as i do by writing novels, just as she does by making friendships and forming relationships. so there's a desperation about his position. yeah, very much. i think lonely people are always desperate to make that kind of connection and sometimes something goes wrong,
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as it does with him. he can't do it and he tries these terrible ways to feed this craving. he is unusual because by accident, completely unexpectedly, he becomes, suddenly, very rich. he doesn't have to work he doesn't have to worry about money. the world is his oyster. in a way that releases him to be the man he really is underneath. in that sense we are not all like him. no, we're lucky because we don't suddenly inherit millions of pounds. i think for him it is a tragedy that he becomes as rich as he does. for a lot of people that are extremely rich, it is a severe problem. i know that sounds ridiculous. it's many of our greatest dreams to become as wealthy as he is. but i think when suddenly you don't have to work you do have to think about how to spend your life, and that's a hard question to answer. and he doesn't know the nature of his tragedy, but we do. yeah, exactly. i hope... you know, i do, in spite of everything he does, feel a lot of sympathy for him. i sometimes feel a little awkward about how sympathetic towards him i feel.
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not obviously for the things he does, but for how he feels, yeah. we're talking about the main character in consent, who talks to us about his awful life. leo benedictus, thank you very much. thank you. most parts of the country today had horrendous weather. grey, cold, dark, awful day with outbreaks of rain. sunday is looking a lot better. this is what we have been dealing with. this slow—moving weather front. what does that mean? it means that once it is over us, it stays there and it's cloudy and horrible. it is stuck between the wind coming out of the east and also this wind from a different direction. it has stalled across the uk. that easterly wind over the next 2a hours will win. so we will see easterly and north—easterly winds developing. when the wind comes from that direction, it tends to stay cold.
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this is what it looks like first thing on sunday morning. it will be freezing in some spots. a lots of sunshine for many of us. the further west and south—west you are, the better. but there are showers across south—eastern england, east anglia and lincolnshire. on sunday and monday, some of those showers coming out of the east and north—east in that cold wind will turn increasingly wintry. possibly with rain and hail. and sleet and snow. it will feel cold whether you are in the north for the south. here is a closer look. sunday night into monday, it doesn't look like a lot but some of the snow showers can be substantial. there could be a nice covering in some areas across the south—east and east anglia. but for most of us
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on monday, the weather is looking bright and cold. then as we head into tuesday, another weather front pushes out of the atlantic. so the winds want to push in from the north—west and this weather front could bump into the cold air sitting across the uk so there could be snow across northern and north—western areas. the basic message is that it will stay cold across the next few days, cold enough for some snow. but not everywhere. stay tuned to the weather forecast. there could be snow showers on the way.
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this is bbc news. i'm vicki young. the headlines at 11:00: the leader of northamptonshire council, which has had to ban almost all spending, says she warned the government their finances were unsustainable. we have been in what you may call a perfect storm of huge increases in demand for our services at the same time to get reductions in funding coming from central government. the italian interior minister says the drive—by shooting that injured six african immigrants in macerata was motivated by "racial hatred". it's emerged tonight that two more women have reported harvey weinstein to the metropolitan police over allegations of sexual assault. ireland pull off a dramatic victory with the last kick of the game in the six nations rugby as they beat france by 15 points to 13 in paris.
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and in half an hour, we'll take a look at tomorrow's

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