Pedro Carolino: English As She Is Spoke

“…This whole book is of course, a “mistake”, and a very extreme one too. But every progression of language develops from mishearing, from distortion. While undoubtedly funny, the undulating incongruity of the language is enough to stimulate realms of the mind previously unexplored…” Ben Granger English As She Is Spoke – Pedro Carolino See all […]

Elementarteilchen – the film of Michel Houellebecq’s Atomised :

James McConalogue Atomised – Michel Houellebecq See all books by Michel Houellebecq at | Elementarteilchen DVD This film is terrifyingly humbling, sexually polite and bravely mundane in its philosophical exploration of the fragility pervading human love. It is packed with the warmth of the everyday trials of love and passion. This film, directed […]

Michel Houellebecq: The Possibility Of An Island

James McConalogue The Possibility Of An Island – Michel Houellebecq See all books by Michel Houellebecq at | “The universe is nothing but a furtive arrangement of elementary particles. A figure in transition toward chaos. That is what will finally prevail. The human race will disappear.” – M. Houellebecq, The Guardian, 2005. As […]

Michel Houellebecq: Lanzarote

Pedro Blas Gonzalez Lanzarote – Michel Houellebecq See all books by Michel Houellebecq at | Lanzarote is a colorful vignette that describes the scope of meaninglessness in an apocalyptic age. Even the landscape – the lunar aridity of this Spanish island where the action takes place – is scarred by volcanic activity. Whether […]

Ralph Steadman: Gonzo: The Art

“Bloodsucking business men, venal politicians, dollar drugged gamblers, archetypal beholders of negation and power transmogrified into grinning reptilia… In the ferocious stroke of a few simple lines Steadman trans-atlantically expresses all the negative facets of the human condition to a terrifyingly hilarious degree.”

Julie Burchill: Sugar Rush: Hurricane Julie

Ben Granger collides with Julie Burchill over several bottles of wine to seek out the dreadful truth on chavs, Stalin, Ariel Sharon and Morrissey   “Never meet your heroes; they always disappoint” runs the old saying. Invited from my humble Lancastrian abode down to the Brighton realm of the greatest shit-stirring iconic hack of our […]

Hunter S. Thompson : An Appreciation : A Real American Patriot

Chris Mitchell on why Hunter S. Thompson was one of the most important figures in American letters I love my friends. Away from email for a few days, log in this morning to 5 different people telling me Hunter S. Thompson is dead. Distraught isn’t the word. Thompson was forever sidelined as a caricature in […]

Paul Auster: Oracle Night

Stephen Mitchelmore Oracle Night – Paul Auster See all books by Paul Auster at | Oracle Night is the first Paul Auster novel I’ve read since Leviathan in 1992. Until then, I had read every book. This was not a difficult feat. Auster is supremely readable. In fact, I am afflicted by an […]

Julie Burchill – Sugar Rush

Ben Granger Julie Burchill: donchajusluver??!! Well, yes, actually. There once was a time when I agreed with all my Graun reading friends “that bigoted bitch” should be humanely shot, but it seems a very long while ago now. My obsession with her venomous vitriol went from fascinated horror to perverse admiration in the time it […]

W.G. Sebald: Looking And Looking Away

Stephen Mitchelmore on the novels of W.G. Sebald Why are W.G. Sebald’s novels so flat? Why – when the books refer to events of utmost horror and disaster, sometimes dwelling on pain and death with a fascination and regularity verging on schadenfreude – are the events themselves always placed at a distance, always prior to […]

Ben Myers – The Book Of Fuck

Chris Mitchell The Book Of Fuck – Ben Myers See all books by Ben Myers at | With a title like that, you’ve got to write a good book or have the word “wanker” silently appended to your name forever after. Just to make things more difficult, the press release trumpets the fact […]

Poppy Z. Brite : Will Self : Exquisite Corpse : Dorian : Bloodsuckers

Mark Richardson on the gender wars in modern Gothic fiction In recent times it has become commonplace for writers and critics alike to link contemporary gothic narratives with modern day anxieties. Two recent Gothic novels have successfully exposed our cynical attitude towards love relations and our fear of getting too close to the Other: Dorian […]

Maurice Blanchot – Nowhere Without No

Stephen Mitchelmore Nowhere Without No – Maurice Blanchot See all books by Maurice Blanchot at | Not half way through the year but already a book has come along that, at the end, I will say: this is it — the book of the year. I am aware that there is something desperate […]

Mark Simpson – Saint Morrissey

Ben Granger Saint Morrissey – Mark Simpson See all books by Mark Simpson at | This book is not for people who’ve never, even briefly, fallen under Morrissey’s spell. Don’t bother; it’ll only convince you further of the psycho-obsessive nature of Morrissey fans in general and the author in particular. Don’t bother either […]

J G Ballard : Millennium People : Entertaining Violence

Chris Hall talks to JG Ballard about Millennium People, the middle classes and mail order Kalashnikovs It’s been 70 years since HG Wells published The Shape of Things to Come but there has been a far more astute chronicler of our contemporary reality living among us in the suburbs for more than half a century. […]

Michel Houellebecq – Atomised

Kevin Walsh Atomised – Michel Houellebecq See all books by Michel Houellebecq at | Michel Houellebecq is one of those authors who inspire hugely conflicting reactions. Some hail him as a literary giant in the European tradition, deftly weaving philosophy, history, and science into his bleak, challenging narratives, asking those questions that other […]

Paul Auster : Cruel Universe

Adrian Gargett on the writing of Paul Auster Paul Auster is not a realist. As the title of his latest book The Book of Illusions suggests, he inhabits a world of illusion. His novels are worldly, finely tuned, elegant and knowingly self-referential. An academic whose wife and two sons die in a plane crash, leaving […]

Cees Nooteboom – All Souls’ Day

Stephen Mitchelmore "The shortcut does not allow one to arrive someplace more directly (more quickly), but rather to lose the way that ought to lead there."  Maurice Blanchot How does one deal with trauma? It’s a common question. Arthur Daane, roving documentary cameraman and protagonist of Cees Nooteboom’s latest novel, asks it too. He thinks […]

Tim Parks – A Season With Verona

Chris Rose A Season With Verona – Tim Parks See all books by Tim Parks at | At dinner recently with a group of other Brits now resident in Italy and the subject of Tim Parks comes up. "When will that Tim Parks stop writing those books?", "And the way he uses all […]

Iain Sinclair : London Orbital : Width Of A Circle

Iain Sinclair walked the length of the M25 motorway to research his book London Orbital. Chris Hall hears why Listeners of Radio 4’s Today programme recently voted London’s M25 the worst of the “seven horrors of Britain” in a poll. One imagines that this refers to their experience of it as drivers; but perhaps if […]

Maurice Blanchot : The Infinite Conversation : The Absent Voice

Stephen Mitchelmore on the writing of Maurice Blanchot There are many remarkable facts about the long life of the French novelist and philosopher Maurice Blanchot. The strident – perhaps Fascist – nationalism of his pre-War journalism; his near-death at the hands of the Nazis during the war; his reclusive devotion to writing that is similar […]

Timothy Clark – Routledge Critical Thinkers: Martin Heidegger

Stephen Mitchelmore Routledge Critical Thinkers: Martin Heidegger – Timothy Clark See all books by Timothy Clark at | The Routledge Critical Thinkers series is turning into something special. Maurice Blanchot by Ulrich Haase and William Large, published last year, is a profound and miraculously lucid guide to the French writer’s work. This year […]

Thomas Bernhard: The Making Of An Austrian and The Novels of Thomas Bernhard

Stephen Mitchelmore finds Thomas Bernhard to be elusive within two studies of the Austrian writer What if everything we can be depends on playing a role? Where would that leave us? Well, first of all, it would mean that the public self, the one presented to the world, is not “a mask” but the original; […]

Will Self : Feeding Frenzy : Biting The Hand That Feeds

Chris Hall serves up a slice of Will Self with the publication of his second collection of journalism, Feeding Frenzy Chris Hall: First off, congratulations on the birth of your new son, Luther. Will Self: Yeah, little baby Luther. He was born on August 8, so he’s a couple of months old now. CH: So […]