A fantastic, funny review of the Unbound book Crushed Mexican Spiders, a collection of two short stories by Tibor Fischer, has been posted over at Metaliterature. Check it out:
”Just who Fischer thinks he is, first attacking Martin Amis and then telling me, his earnest reviewer, that “…most books reviews aren’t very well-written. They tend to be more about the reviewer than the book,” is an interesting question, and, frankly, one I don’t care much for. Me. I don’t care. I have other views too, which may or may not come out in the course of this review of a double-header by Fischer from the wonderful, wonderful people at Unbound. Okay, so I’m stuck in 2003, but then it was a nice place to be, with anticipation building at getting my hands on first a proof of Yellow Dog and then a pristine signed copy of Voyage To The End Of The Room. After 2003 it all felt a bit of a letdown, with the bathetic release of both to muted praise and fierce criticism.
Still, I must focus on pastures new and not on muddy old fields.
A quick word (you know what that means) about Unbound. The theory or model is that by securing an agreed level of support from the public, that is you and me and him and them etc, before the book is published, an author and the publisher are able to off-set risks and cover costs, whilst also being able to create a book of rare beauty with a high quality design and, as mentioned in the Guardian, “paper so creamy you long to lick it”. The bonus for us literati is that one gets one’s name printed in the book as a supporter, and if you’re particularly energetic in promoting a particular title or author, by spreading your personalised link to all and sundry via whatever social media site you choose, you may even become a Promoter, earning credits (for use against future projects) for every supporter one convinces to pledge a contribution to a project. Copacetic.
And so on to my first fully formed fiction from Unbound. Depending on which way you pick it up, you may or may not get Crushed Mexican Spiders first, so that seems as good a point as any to start projecting my own insecurities.
I jest, I jest.
In a very short story, barely 14 pages long, Fischer goes after London, a city with which he has seemingly fallen out. In a Guardian interview in 2003 (sigh) he says:
“London has become a much more unpleasant place than it used to be. I don’t think that’s to do with any kind of recent climate of fear, it’s just that nothing works. There are just too many rats in the rat cage now.”
His nameless protagonist struggles no longer against the apathy of the city, and is rewarded with a cold shoulder which borders on the Kafkaesque. Her key doesn’t work, her neighbours aren’t the neighbours she remembers, and there’s a woman in her flat who says she’s lived there for seven years. “
Read the rest of the review here…