As part of our Placeholder series, we're asking some of our favourite artists an incredibly simple question: 'what are you reading?'. Next up is Charlie Rowell from Crocodiles.

This is the first Cendrars novel that I have read. I was drawn to him because of his background; a swiss/scottish writer living in Paris during the incredibly adventurous '30s and '40s. Everything you would expect you will find here. It's incendiary stuff. The streets, the theatre, the drugs, the sex, tattoos and surreal living situations. A similar vibe to Clebert, Celine, Genet and Cocteau. Here's a quote from the book:

"She flicked the light switch. And was stupefied to discover that the man's whole back was covered with suggestive and crapulous tattoos that she had not discovered in the confusion of their love-play which, as preliminaries go, had been much too hasty and brutal. There were names and nicknames, naked women, flowers, a butterfly, a black cat on a swing, the casbah of Algiers, a souvenir from Sidi-bel-Abbes, a coiled serpent knotting together two crossed daggers, the falot (a guard-house lantern hung from a crescent moon, tattoo of condemned soldiers), the axeman's guide mark below the nape of his neck and, between his shoulder blades, the Guillotine. It was incredible. She dreamed over the designs, she pissed herself, wet herself from emotion."