Gonzo gratitude (1 of 2)

September 13, 2012

Very occasionally, I receive nice emails from people I have never met but who have read my stuff. This morning I got one that began thus: "Dear Professor Hackley, I have just submitted an [Economic and Social Research Council]-sponsored PhD thesis and had the great pleasure of reading your work during my research.

"It is not often that people laugh out loud in the Social Science reading room of the British Library, but reading your books, I did."

When I had stopped laughing myself, I read on. Fortunately, the writer was being complimentary: "And when I wasn't laughing, I was gripped."

Apropos Helen Sword's recent feature article, I must admit I have sometimes wondered about the wisdom of giving in to my gonzo writing moments ("Narrative trust", 6 September).

I can now rest easy. As Wall Street's Gordon Gekko didn't say: "Gonzo is good."

Chris Hackley, Professor of marketing, Royal Holloway, University of London

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