First Book of Frags Dave Lordan

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Kindle Edition

149 pages


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First Book of Frags  by  Dave Lordan

First Book of Frags by Dave Lordan
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A book of explosive short fiction from the author of The Boy in the Ring and Invitation to a Sacrifice. First Book of Frags is a projectile flung at convention, capital, and ultimately, civilisation itself.echoes of James Joyce and AngelaMoreA book of explosive short fiction from the author of The Boy in the Ring and Invitation to a Sacrifice. First Book of Frags is a projectile flung at convention, capital, and ultimately, civilisation itself.echoes of James Joyce and Angela Carter--Nuala Ní ChonchúirDave Lordan’s First Book of Frags is experimental work of an accessible kind – unsentimental, original.[...] a wry sensibility throughout, reminiscent of the early stories of Peter Carey.

-- Patrick ChapmanFirst Book of Frags is a gallery of cosmic and psychic perversion and violence. Punctuated by moments of intense, incandescent writing, it gives us a marriage of heaven and hell, good and evil, repressive force and hopeless sex. Whether it shows us the success of suicide towns, the unrecorded victims of the Titanic, revolutions in housing estates, cornerboys, destructors, accomplices, violent fire bombings, stew and shit stirrers, animals and pornstars, writers under attack, the people who live permanently in Swedish-based furniture stores, or women speaking to the dead, it is always, allegorically and literally, concerned with an Ireland, a Europe, and a humanity which has lost its way and wandered into nightmare dead ends only partially of its own making.

The contemporary resonances of these strange and brief short stories, with their weird and uncanny narrators, equals the political bite of Lordan’s best poetry. -- Graham Allen.Dave Lordan is among the very few artists I see around me who is brave and unflinching enough to directly confront the increasing horror of life in a Republic which is dying on its feet. This pitch black voice is, to me, for all intents and purposes the sound of a country in tears -- Eamonn CruddenMore than a tour de force, Lordan’s first explorations in fiction, First Book of Frags, is a damning tour de farce.

It’s an indictment of our time, how we’ve allowed society to disintegrate, how we’ve glorified trivia and lordified Mammon, how we’ve giddily partaken in media circuses and courted political jesters. In keeping with the context and with Lordan’s work in performance, the stories are a prosodic theatre of the grotesque. There’s vivid, fantastical spectacle and macabre humour.

Despair at its starkest always makes for interesting shades of black. No one is spared: alcoholics, drug addicts, women as objects of male fantasy, suicide where suicide rates become a competition between towns and the town with most suicides could be a tourist attraction. Chaos continuously begets chaos, begets corruption, so we marvel all the more at the wondrous balancing act of survival that the characters go through.

They resort to tribal mode, voodoo, mythology, every base and primal instinct that links us to our earliest ancestors. Yet, despite his nobler inklings, we are constantly reminded that man is monster, hell bent on dystopia.At some point throughout these stories, you’ll be squirming, holding your breath, out of your comfort zone, exhausted from the verbal whip and lash of it all, yet irresistibly drawn further in because you know that behind the hilarious accounts the message is very close to home.

So close we are the message, and it needs to be somehow tackled. In the polarised world of these stories, where everything is manically militia one minute, carnival the next, it might take some hazily-defined quixotic enterprise to find a solution to the mayhem. But that too, menacingly, is a parody. -- Anamaría Crowe Serrano



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