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All Hail the New Puritans [Paperback]

Nicholas Blincoe , Matt Thorne
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 7.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 July 2001

‘All Hail, the New Puritans’ is the collection of new stories from the most exciting young novelists today. Inspired by the Dogme 95 group of film makers, the New Puritans are attempting to rediscover fiction as a discipline rather than a category.

1. Primarily storytellers, we are dedicated to the narrative form.

2. We are prose writers and recognise that prose is the dominant form of expression.

For this reason we shun poetry and poetic licence in all its forms.

3. While acknowledging the value of genre fiction, whether classical or modern, we will always move towards new openings, rupturing existing genre expectations.

4. We believe in textual simplicity and vow to avoid all devices of voice: rhetoric, authorial asides.

5. In the name of clarity, we recognise the importance of temporal linearity and eschew flashbacks, dual temporal narratives and foreshadowing.

6. We believe in grammatical purity and avoid any elaborate punctuation.

7. We recognise that published works are also historical documents. As fragments of our time, all our texts are dated and set in the present day. All products, places, artists and objects named are real.

8. As faithful representation of the present, our texts will avoid all improbable or unknowable speculations on the past or the future.

9. We are moralists, so all text feature a recognisable ethical reality.

10. Nevertheless, our aim is integrity of expression, above and beyond any commitment to form.

Frequently Bought Together

All Hail the New Puritans + The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (2 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841153494
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841153490
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 728,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

All Hail the New Puritans begins with a ten-point manifesto. Part pastiche of modernist manifestos, part bullet-point mission statement, this manifesto claims to eschew inter alia voice, flashbacks, poetic licence and rhetoric in favour of plain, authentic, transparent testimonial prose.

Fortunately, the practice of the New Puritans is much more interesting and sophisticated than their theory. All set in the present, the stories dissect many aspects of contemporary life with verve, wit and sympathy. While ostensibly offering us faithful representations of the present, many of the stories have considerable satirical bite.

The entertainment/information economy and its possibilities and pitfalls are chronicled in Blincoe's "Short Guide to Game Theory"--a tale of schoolboy rivalry transposed into the conflict between a board-game developer and the aspirant designer of a game called SWING, the object of which is to create and market a pop group; the protagonist and narrator in Matthew Branton's "Monkey See" works as a techie tracing internet porn, who tries to spice up his sex-life with his much-loved wife by joining a swingers group. Tony White's "Poet" explores the possibilities (emotional, economic and formal) of using Excel to write sonnets in a moving meditation on being a writer in a digital age. --Neville Hoad --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘This is an important collection. Whether you agree with the New Puritan Manifesto or not, if you care about writing you must read this book…The New Puritans have mounted a formidable revolution.' The Times

‘It is exciting to find so many good stories in one collection…Thorne and Blincoe have challenged the writer to do something original and that is exactly what the New Puritans have done.' Daily Telegraph

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiction for the Future 10 Feb 2002
By A Customer
I bought this book mainly because I like Matt Thorne's novels, and wasn't sure about the hype and the strange rules. But the stories deliver, and are all really good. A cool collection.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a shower 7 Nov 2000
By A Customer
It's difficult to conceive of a sorrier crowd of no-hopers than we see collected together here. With the possible exception of Dyer (who should be ashamed of himself for stooping to this level), the so-called 'new puritans' offer stories which are on the level of Little Red Riding Hood when it comes to depth and complexity. The thrust of the 'manifesto' - that literature needs to find some pure values in terms of storytelling and precision in use of language is not without value, though it is incredibly short-sighted and pretty banal in the way it's outlined. It's just a real shame that such a shower of second rate authors is the best the editors could come up with to illustrate it. The fact that they include their own work says a lot.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stories; strange rules 26 Nov 2000
By A Customer
I think I have to begin by review by arguing with the last review. [The]remarks are typical of many of the criticisms fired at this anthology - which all stem from literary snobbery... After all, ordinary readers like me and my friends love these stories. They are relevant to us and to our lives. These stories do have depth and complexity - just because they're not 'clever clever' and don't have Julian-Barnes-style references to Flaubert to show off how well-read the readers are, this doesn't mean to say they don't have depth. They are not cliche either - not just about relationships between twentysomethings - but wierd and wonderful subjects, like Matt Thorne's brilliantly erotic and bizarre story.
On the other hand - I don't think the New Puritans needed to be 'New Puritans.' They could have just put together a collection of short stories for charity, like Nick Hornby's fantastic 'Speaking with the Angel' or the slightly trashy 'Girls Night In'. I found the rules silly and pretentious; I can't help feeling they were just a publicity stunt, which has got everyone talking and arguing...Or me writing this review. Still, in age where the success of books depends as much on hype as quality, who can blame then?
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I thought the manifesto was extremely interesting and thought provoking, and where its precepts were followed produced some very interesting work, such as 'Game Theory' by Mr Blincoe and 'Skunk by Mr Dyer. However I thought one or two of the authors, such as Mr Lewis, produced over stylised fripperies with no real emotional depth. Overall, however, I would certainly recommend it to my friends.
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