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Showing posts from February, 2016

Escape Everything by Robert Wringham

Okay, so, Unbound, yaddah yaddah amazeballs and so on. I love them, they love my money, everything is cool. Incidentally, go fund this novel by Paul Bassett Davies so I can read it sooner rather than later please. Thank you.

Robert Wringham, comedian, writer and editor of the magazineNew Escapologist, lives a life of comparative leisure. Pootling about at the edges of the great machine that is Consumerism, he has fashioned for himself and his wife an existence that does not feed the beast, for the most part. He survives rather comfortably without feeling the need to anxiously obsess over television programmes, purchase a cup of coffee for more than the coffee bean picker is paid in a day, pay into a pension which the bank only uses to invest in the arms trade or ploughs into a hedge fund. And he is happy, or so he wishes us to believe. He is debt free, angst free, and has come up with a way for all of us to join him outside of the rat race by adhering to a few simple tenets, which I fe…

The Mule by David Quantick

I had been waiting for this book for a while from the crowdfunding website Unbound. You know them; they get authors to pitch a book idea and then invite the public to support it, only publishing if it hits its targets. Perhaps because my tastes run to the bizarre, or because I'm seduced by quirks and weird conceits, lack of funding means I've lost the opportunity to read a couple of books I would have loved to have seen in print, but this isn't one of them. That is, this one made it. And if there's one thing I love about a book from Unbound, more than the fact that you get a useful pdf or Nook or Kindle e-version of it to download to your preferred reading device, more than the fact that this particular book is by a man whose writing I usually thoroughly enjoy, and who I found out fairly recently is only two (even arguably one) step removed from me*, is the simple, unreproducible and peculiar joy of hearing a brand new hardback book squeak, as if in barely contained ex…

Boyhood Island: My Struggle Volume 3 by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I'm halfway through what I assume to be Knausgaard's magnus opus, three books of six finished off, and I can't say I'm raring to go for book four. Normally, what I tend to do when I find a new author over whom to fawn and to laud to others as 'my new favourite writer', a term so threadbare from hyperbolic ill-use that the light of truth shines through it unencumbered and it means next to nothing, is that I go out and buy nearly everything they've written, devour the lot in an extended sitting, and then move on to the next false idol. This time, I'm struggling. Books one and two, I did consume, gluttonously, but now I find I'm full and have no appetite for more for the present. 

John Self recently tweeted a review from author and The Times contributor Melissa Katsoulis about book five, Some Rain Must Fall, in which she notes that Knausgaard himself makes reference to a novel as a 'giant dick, impressive at first sight but too big for the blood to …