February 10, 2009

Download "The Heritage" for free!

So, the good burghers of Faber & Faber have decided against publishing a mass-market paperback edition of "The Heritage". I would've been pissed off, anyway, I guess, but I think would have understood this hard-headed business decision. After all, if you wanna kiss the ring of the Leather Pope then corporate capitalism's where it's at and fuck any of the considerations (art, literature, quality) you may pay lip service to. But I think my sense of fair play was piqued by being told less than two weeks before said paperback edition was supposed to be out. I mean, really, how shit is that? Sorry? Pardon? What was that I heard about putting authors first? Anyway, as the only way left to me to build any sort of a readership for what I think is a pretty good book (not a great book by any means, but not as bad as a lot of the shit out there), I'm posting it here for you to download. The file is only 853.5 KB and it downloads as a pdf direct from this link.

Take a copy, tell friends or associates who might be interested, or just email it on to them. The only thing I ask is that you forget the title 'printed' on it and think of it as "OLIVIA". This was what I'd originally named the book until I was told I needed to change it because the Faber sales and marketing people didn't feel it was "strong enough". I eventually settled on "The Heritage" almost by accident and was never happy with it as the title (I couldn't say it without adopting the tones of the guy who voices adverts for Hollywood movies). But everyone there "loved it" and, as we can all now see, it made a huge difference. What are you waiting for? DOWNLOAD DOWNLOAD DOWNLOAD before they make me take it down...

February 05, 2009

Walser, Brothers Quay, Schulz, McBurney, Lowry and Safran Foer - name-tag from the sublime to the ridiculous

Was thinking of another post I could write about Robert Walser when I came across the Brothers Quay's film of "Jakob Von Gunten," which is called "Institute Benjamenta," hence (presumably) explaining the previously-referred-to name change of the book. From there I checked out other things they had done and came across their much-praised and admired stop motion film of version of "Street of Crocodiles" by Bruno Schultz. Which set me thinking about Simon McBurney and Complicité, whose stage version of "Street of Crocodiles" I saw more years ago than I would prefer to discuss. From there I ruminated on Complicite's new production at the Barbican which I'm going to see a week on Saturday, how I think they should do a production of "Under The Volcano" (McBurney would be an excellent - if slightly old - Geoffrey Firmin) and whether they've fallen off a little in recent years (I know everyone went mad over "A Disappearing Number" but I thought it was a bit thin, really, in particular the over-emotive ending, which seemed to be put there to disguise the fact that they didn't know how to pull it all together - "make 'em cry and no one will ask..."). Anyhow, I looked at this piece on the Times Scabline and all my worst fears were confirmed - McBurney and co are about to work with Jonathan Safran Foer. God help them.

February 03, 2009

Random Blither - McBain, Simenon,Walser, Esser and the horror of "Have Your Say"

So I gave up on Ed McBain. Partly it was the film star description thing. Partly I thought I'd be better off watching "The Wire". Partly it was an example of false economy - I bought an edition with three novels in which was then too big to fit in my pocket when I went out. As a result I switched to reading more Simenon last week - "The Blue Room," which while not as good as "Dirty Snow" was still pretty remarkable.

I've been wondering how to find out what to read next by him (I'm less interested in the Maigret side of things, though this could be because I was made to read a short story for EngLit "O" level many many years ago) and in the process stumbled across an essay about him by Paul Theroux, which has endeared the man to me even more. Anyway, I finished "The Blue room" and started on "Jakob Von Gunten" by Robert Walser, which a friend gave me 13 years ago but which I've never got round to reading (very poor...). It's commonly called "Institute Benjamenta" now, which confused me enough to ask someone to buy it for my birthday. Have only read Walser's short fiction in the past and not all that much of that. But it's great, even if, after Simenon et al, I'm reading it as a murder mystery without a murder. In between finishing "The Blue Room" on the train, I saw a band called Esser performing on a freezing cold bandstand on Sunday. I liked them enough to Google them, hence the video above. Last but not least, my worthy constituent Jimmy Cash sent me a link to spEak You’re bRanes, a website devoted to ripping the piss out of idiotic, xenophobic and dumb posts on the BBC's "Have Your Say" forums. Very funny.