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Crushed Mexican Spiders (Possibly Forty Ships) [Hardcover]

Tibor Fischer
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

24 Nov 2011
The appearance of any new work by Tibor Fischer is a cause for celebration. Here, in a launch treat for Unbound readers, are two dazzling new stories that show why he is so admired. 'Crushed Mexican Spiders' is classic Fischer. Don t be fooled by the title: the poet laureate of London grime is on home ground as a woman returns home to discover the key to her Brixton flat no longer works.

Haunting images and crisp one-liners are about all that link it with the second tale, 'Possibly Forty Ships', the true story of the Trojan War. In a scene straight out of a Tarantino movie, an old man is being tortured, pressed to reveal how the greatest legend of all really happened. (Let's just say it
bears scant resemblance to Homer: 'If you see war as a few ships sinking in the middle of the waves, a few dozen warriors in armour, frankly not as gleaming as it could be, being welcomed whole-heartedly by the water, far, far away from Troy, if you see that as war, then it was a war...'). The stories are being printed in a beautiful small hardback edition, each one illustrated by the work of the acclaimed Czech photographer Hana Vojáková.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Unbound (24 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908717033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908717030
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 18.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Makes most other contemporary English fiction look like irrelevant persiflage. --Will Self

Conrad with jokes --Sunday Times

About the Author

Do you remember the first time you watched Reservoir Dogs, or Taxi Driver? The disorienting sense of not quite knowing whether you re witnessing comedy or tragedy? That is what reading Tibor Fischer is
like. Few writers have a better feel for the inventive set-up: the Soviet invasion of Hungary from the point of view of the national basketball team (Under the Frog - Booker Shortlisted); life as narrated by a 5,000 year-old Sumerian bowl (The Collector Collector), a man who teaches himself to read two books at once (Don t Read this Book if You re Stupid) and south London loser who decides to become a deity in Miami (Good to be God). Fischer s books are philosophical in the proper sense of the word: they make you think about and question every assumption life is founded on, but only when you ve stopped laughing.
He lives in Brixton and Budapest and teaches creative writing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Possibly a failed experiment? 9 Dec 2011
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The first thing to note about the book is how short it is. "Crushed Mexican Spiders" is a mere 12 pages on small pages and "Possibly Forty Ships" is 20 pages. The book is nicely put together, a dinky hardback with the stories printed flipside by side so you have to turn the book around to read the other story when you've finished the other one, and the jacket is nicely designed. And that's basically what you're paying for, a nicely put together book with some ok-ish but very short stories.

"CMS" is about what living in London does to a person, how it changes them from decent people into soulless, mistrustful drones. A woman returning from a business trip finds her key won't open her flat door and that someone else is living in it. She doesn't recognise her neighbours nor does anyone recognise her. Her bank cards don't work, her friends and family phone numbers don't work, and she is all alone in London with nowhere to go and no idea what's happened to her life. The story stands out for its ambiguity and could be read as what homelessness and mental illness must be like or a kind of witch's curse story (the protagonist kills her neighbour's spiders who were specially bred - maybe her neighbour magicked her life away?). But it's haunting finale and overall creepy factor make this an interesting story and the better of the two.

"PFS" is about what "really" happened at Troy and is told by a witness of the events, revealing that in fact what happened was there were far fewer ships, men, and heroes, and it was mostly a lie. It's an interesting-ish idea, that I think Fischer thought was funny but really isn't, and the writing of it isn't that great to read. Also, who cares about Troy - really?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Size isn't everything 12 Jan 2012
These two stories make for a read outloud feast. No question, Fischer has a way with (in this case, very few) words. I won't go into detail about the plots as half the fun of Tibor Fischer is reading his each and every word/phrase and punctuation mark. His writing is fine, though I sometimes wish he would take a break from always changing his voice (I mean the guy has written from the perspective of everything from a clay pot to a woman) to a developing a story that mainlines his own perspective, without the costume (would that be naked?). CMS is worth the ducats.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By DebHyde
Two great short stories deservedly given the hardback treatment via clever Unbound publishers - I read both without putting the book down. "Possibly Forty Ships" is laugh-out-loud audacity. "Crushed Mexican Spiders": well, few people do biting wit better than Tibor Fischer on top form, implacable enemy that he is of the humdrum but horrifying pomposities, idiocies and cruelties of big city life. An ideal stocking filler /festive gift for that sophisticated, and broad-minded, reader in your life.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shortest book ever 8 Dec 2013
By no
Another classic from Tibor Fischer. I would've bought this book even if I had known that it was the shortest book ever. Two brilliant short stories of about 20-30 pages long each.

Well worth the buy if you're a big fan. I just wish if known before it arrived that it would be very,vey short. If you're not I suggest you start with some of his other titles and come back to this one!
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