At a Formal Dinner on the other side of a large round table sat a young lady who caught my eye and said “I love your column”. She was referring to my newspaper column. We got talking across the table. She had written a manuscript which lay unpublished in the bottom of her bedroom wardrobe. She refused to tell me what it was called. I told her that I too was trying to write a novel called “Filth”.
After the Dinner, she came over and quietly told me that her novel was to be called “Disgusting” and then left. I did not get the opportunity to tell her that in Hong Kong, FILTH was a common acronym for “Failed in London Try Hong Kong”. My novel was a comic story about a London lawyer etc., etc.
Even the surest set of circumstances can turn out to be completely inaccurate. For instance, a person who repeats gossip only to find out that despite the reliable source, it is untrue. The legal action commenced on the basis of facts which later are proved untrue by expert evidence. This is why before commencing court action your lawyer will wish to engage in expensive enquiries to check the facts that you know to be true. The consequences of not doing so, can be disastrous.
It took me 15,000 words to discover that my intended novel was dull, a quite acceptable standard for law books but not for novels, so I stopped.
Recently, in a bookshop I saw a book called “Old Filth” about a lawyer who failed etc. It had been shortlisted for the Orange prize. I felt no interest in purchasing it or even opening it. Whereas I suspect “Disgusting” could develop quite a following, if it ever came out of the closet.