James is the author of six novels with Jonathan Cape. The first, A White Merc With Fins (1996), was a Sunday Times bestseller, as was his second, Rancid Aluminium (1997). This was filmed, starring Joseph Fiennes, whilst Michael Sheen starred in the adaptation of his third novel Dead Long Enough (2000). James was an activeco-producer on both,and satirized the movie business in White Powder, Green Light ("Bang on the money" - Daily Mirror) . The French edition of his2005 novel Speak for England ("deliciously entertaining" - Independent) became the front page news in Le Monde's book supplement.His most recent novel is My Little Armalite (“a prolific and increasingly subtle satirist" – Guardian, 2008). His study of Kafka - Excavating Kafka - (“absolutely brilliant and utterly infuriating” Guardian, 2008) was the basis of a BBC documentary televised in November 2008.
James has reviewed in and/or written for every UK broadsheet. In July 2010 he appeared on Newsnight and Channel4 News,discussing the opening of mysterious boxes left by Frank Kafka's literary executor.
His latest work of creative non-fiction, Englanders and Huns, was published in Feb 2014 by Simon & Schuster (London/NY).