The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

What books are indie pop band The Burning Hell reading?

Band members Mattias Kom and Ariel Sharratt talk to Shelagh Rogers about books, music and more.
Mathias Kom and Ariel Sharratt are members of band The Burning Hell. (Angus MacPherson)

This interview originally aired on Nov. 5, 2018.

The Burning Hell is a Ontario-based music band of which Mathias Kom and Ariel Sharratt are key members. Kom and Sharratt have a penchant for quirky and often literary lyrics and are both avid readers. 

They talked to Shelagh Rogers about music, the places they've lived and the books they are reading.

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban

Russell Hoban is the author of Riddley Walker. (John Carey, Indiana University Press)

Mathias Kom: "I am revisiting a book that's very dear to my heart called Riddley Walker. It was written by Russell Hoban, an American author who lived in England for most of his life. It's one of my favourites. It's a post-apocalyptic novel set in what used to be the county Kent in southeastern England a few millennia after a devastating nuclear war.

"What makes Riddley Walker so special is the sense of deep confusion that Russell Hoban plunges you, the reader, into by his use of a pidgin post-apocalyptic, accented English. The dialect is a product of not only natural linguistic change but also the devastation of this nuclear war — and all the ways that it's changed the environment. It takes a little bit to get into but what's magical about it is the way you get drawn into Riddley Walker's world."

Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore

Something for Everyone is a short story collection by Lisa Moore. (Heather Barrett, House of Anansi Press)

Ariel Sharratt: "I'm reading Lisa Moore's new collection of short stories. It's wonderful, as usual. Mathias and I spent a lot of time in St. John's and lived there for a number of years. It's so interesting to read Lisa's work. So many of these stories are set in a changing St. John's, which is happening right now.

"We left at the peak of the St. John's boom. We couldn't afford to live there anymore. And now it's changed a lot. It's so exciting to read a book that just churns with ideas and has space for bringing in your own thoughts about everything."

Watch The Burning Hell perform their song The River


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