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Showing posts from January, 2012

Competition time at Metaliterature

In a fit of boredom, I have decided to launch the inauguralMetaliterature Bespoke Review Competition here at Metaliterature! One (or more - I haven't decided yet) lucky person(s) will get a specially written and personalized review of a typically great book. Fancy your chances of winning? Then here's what you do:

1) Look at these stunning photos of a few randomly chosen bookshelves in my house (if you can't read the titles, get some glasses you myopic curmudgeon, or simply click for an enlarged view)
2) Pick ONE book from the literally tens of great titles
3) Go to Twitter and follow @themightybuchand let him know which you choose

The winner(s) will be picked at random, and I will then write that lucky person a personalized and thoroughly entertaining review of their chosen title.

"Fuck me, that sounds brilliant!" I hear you say. Don't be a tit. Still, it'll while away a tedious afternoon for me. All that's left is for you to get in touch! Don't be shy…

Backlist and backlist and backlist again

There was a guy I saw buying Garbage Man by D'Lacey and I quizzed him about this book, D'Lacey's first. He said it was so good he bought another copy so he could leave it on a train and someone else might pick it up and read it too. I was intrigued, as this wasn't the kind of guy who looked like he usually bought Stephen King, or smelled like he bought Poppy Z. Brite. And yet it's with something of a sigh of annoyance that, having taken his recommendation and read through this, that I find it falls somewhere in between, where the lay person, usually disdainful of the genre, might be tempted to sully their hands with something gruesome and gory. I guess I expected the exceptional, and what I got was only pretty good. The premise, having been emblazoned across the front cover in true lowest common denominator style by schlock publishers Bloody Books, is that there's something rotten in small town wherever. The fact that small town wherever is in the centre of a p…

Down The Bright Way by Robert Reed

This one almost slipped into an In-Betweeners review, harshly so, as it occurred in the space between Imperial Bedrooms and Houellebecq, but on reflection, I would be doing Reed and indeed science fiction a discourtesy by paying only cursory attention to what is in fact a rather good novel.

Sci-Fi - and its cousin Fantasy - too often gets a raw deal. If you can ignore far future science (or in the case of fantasy, magic) and strip back the improbable metallurgy and ample-chested warrior vixens, you will usually (although not always) find a story as engaging as any in the realms of literary, mass market or any other fiction sub-genre. Plus, you get improbable metallurgy and ample-chested warrior vixens. What's not to love? Lack of realism? What about Garcia Marquez, Rushdie and Allende and their brand of magical realism, which is surely as difficult to believe as a woman who is over a million years old in a far-future multi-dimensional universe? Unknown science used to be labelled a…

Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis

It's odd, but I think I've fallen out with Mr Ellis. Its not immediately apparent to me why (with luck I shall endeavour to extract said reason during the course of this exorcism), but I felt defeated by Imperial Bedrooms, in a way not unlike having shouted and begged and pleaded for a new toy only to find out that it's not really made of titanium and the wiggly bit that controls its movement falls off after only an hour. This in itself is odd, as I have been a loyal(ish) supporter of his work over a number of years. 

Okay, possible reason number one has just presented itself: I fondly recall being delighted by American Psycho, its visceral, gore soaked and thoroughly sociopathic pages were so entertaining that I was happy to skip over the passages about Phil Collins without feeling as though I had missed anything important. In doing so, I am content to admit that this means I did indeed miss out on some aspects of the the duality of the narrator to the extent that I cared …