Chalk, by Paul Cornell

The most unpleasant Cornell thing I have ever read and, by his own account, the most unpleasant thing he has ever written. Not that it isn’t good, of course. It’s an exorcism of his childhood experiences of bullying, mixed in with the pagan forces at work in and around the white horse land of the Avebury / Salisbury Plain / points west area. And as we are the same age, it’s also a love note to the music and TV of the early 80s: in fact the number one charts turns out to have an unexpected magical influence on events. In short, I can only really say – the bastard, he stole my thunder for my own 80s childhood retrospective novel that I want to write one day. I may yet. Mine has time travel and is set in a public school, so is completely different.