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Free Stuff!

We all love free things.

Sadly I have none to give away. Hey, I'm just your average, lowly, poorly paid reader-type, easily bought off with shiny goodies or the promise of a job where I don't have to use tools like the toe-jam brush or come home smelling like rotting beef carcasses. 


Washing and stamping beef carcasses (3718635976)
It's quitting time!
However, if you should ever find yourself with a stack of brand-new proofs, or books you've just released, you know, super-lead titles, future prize-winning fiction, classic sci-fi novels and so forth, then, rather than wasting them on booksellers and wholesalers (cos they'll just use them to prop open fire doors) you should consider giving them a home they will love. Failing that, send them to me. 

You can get in touch through the comments below, via Twitter or by sending me a polite and fawning email. I'll do the rest. Except of course for mailing the book, which you'll still have to do.

Now, the disclaimer thingamabobs.

  • Any books sent to me to read and review will be done so at the sender's cost
  • I cannot possibly promise to read and review every book I receive, but I will try to provide a credit to every book and sender somewhere on these pages.
  • I cannot possibly promise to give your book a good or positive review. I haven't read it yet. I will try to look at the good points, and constructively criticise the bad bits, within my abilities so to do. If you are afraid I won't like it, and will post a scathing review, take heart - I'm much too soft to do that. Please refer to the Kurt Vonnegut quote about suits of armour etc. - it's at the end of the review.
  • If you have a time-frame for a review, please let me know from the outset, as otherwise I might be too distracted by biscuits or football to notice things like publishing dates, mass media advertising campaigns and so forth.


I'm just a sucker for a good story. So send me yours.


Comments

How's about that then?

Apochryphal Tales by Karel Čapek

Hereward: The Last Englishman by Peter Rex

By all accounts, Hereward was the guerrilla scourge of the invading Norman armies in eleventh century Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, famous for isolating and dismembering members of the Norman nobility who strayed too far from home, and also for trashing Peterborough and hiding on an island. Called variously (and often erroneously) The Wake, The Exile or The Outlaw, his infamy was such that families in search of noble English lineage have usurped his "heroism" for their own glory even until this very day. Rex delights in highlighting one author's particular folly, entitled Hereward, The Saxon Patriot, in which Lieutenant-General Harward attempts to run his antecedents right back to the loins of the eponymous gentleman-rogue. 

Having only read the introduction to Peter Rex's myth-busting (and often ill-edited) work, I was already struck by an initial thought which ran thus: if as Rex asserts Hereward was the son of Asketil Tokison, a descendant of a wealthy Danish family …

And The Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave

Someone told me this novel, now nearly thirty years old (holy crap), Nick Cave's first and, possibly, his best, began life as a screenplay when he was still touring with The Birthday Present. That seems equally plausible and implausible. It is a wildly cinematic novel, narrated in flashback by the hermetic mute boy Euchrid Eucrow, who slithered into the world as one of a pair of damaged twins, the only one who survives the neglect of their first day on earth, and is vividly, viscerally visual. But it's also complicated, wildly imaginative, and at heart, finds a safer and more permanent berth in the gently revered world of literature than in the ever-changing and perfidious zeitgeist of cinema.

The story goes that Euchrid, after throwing himself into a bog into which he slowly sinks as he narrates his tale (to whom? and how?), was born, mute and unloved, into a truly Southern Gothic existence, mother a moonshine drunk, father a mean, bitter animal trapper, his community a severe…

Breakfast Of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

In days gone by, when repeatedly pressed about what my favourite book might be, a banal question seeking an impossible and crude reductionist answer to which I was usually rude in response, I would offer Breakfast Of Champions as a pacifier. 

I first read it in University, and it has, to some degree, influenced how I think and feel about a lot of things. Strikingly, I've never wanted to re-read it. Perhaps I was afraid I'd find fault the second time around and wanted to uphold it as a paragon of meta-fiction. Perhaps, but then I'm a relentless consumer of fiction and was always on to the next consumable work, never having time or inclination to go back.

So in the spirit of a more considered and thoughtful phase of my life I decided I wanted to read something that once made me feel good.

I'd clearly not remembered it very well.

But before that, I'm amazed I've gone *mumbles* years without once mentioning Kilgore Trout in my reviews, even in passing. The same goes fo…