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Fullalove [Paperback]

Gordon Burn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Aug 1996
Norman Miller used to be one of Fleet Street's finest. Now he's a middle-aged, burned-out hack with a gift for the sensational story, the shouting tabloid lead. But as he reports in a series of brutal murders and sex crimes, he's forced to wonder whether he is just a witness - or part of some deeper pattern of cause and effect ...


Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Minerva; New edition edition (27 Aug 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074938638X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749386382
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,000,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Remarkable . . . Devastating . . . Required reading for anyone interested in what British fiction should be doing today.' -- Esquire --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Norman Miller used to be one of Fleet Street's finest. Now he's a middle-aged, burned-out hack with a gift for the sensational story, the shouting tabloid lead. But as he reports on a series of brutal murders and sex crimes, he's forced to wonder whether he is just a witness - or part of some deeper pattern of cause and effect . . . --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scary 11 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The narrator of this book is a cynical, burnt-out newspapermen working for a mid-market tabloid rather like the Mail or Express. He specialises in finding new angles on police-killer and sex crime stories. A fair bit of the novel is spent describing his past rise to prominence, his breakdown and the loss of his family, and his current sad and boozy lifestyle. His colleagues are equally sleazy: a former war reporter who's obsessed by the gruesome; a man who specialises in seducing the wives, girlfriends and mothers of killers and their victims in order to pump them for spicy stories; and the young up-and-comer (who commits suicide). Fascinated by the crime memorials spread around London, he meets a woman who regularly tends the memorial to WPC Yvonne Fletcher, and who represents a kind of alternative way to live; and he forms a sentimental attachment to a toy dog (the `Fullalove' of the title).

Now and then I thought the book was going to turn into `proper' crime fiction, but rather than plot it concentrates mostly on the main character's varying states of mind, and what this kind of work has done to him. He's reflective, an extraordinary polymath, at home with many specialist vocabularies, and loves to list things at length, like this: "I had to look interested while he bored on about circumstantial distortions, expedient devices, eventful exceptions, exceptional diagonals, superadjacency, equivalence..." He and his colleagues have conversations that defy credibility: '"Teale-green, citron, avocado, pumpkin. Approximately in that spectrum? Muted brights. Or were they black?" Ashley said. "Lace with a gossamer undercolour? The incorporation of a pattern language capable of renewing the communicative power of the surface.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fullalove Brilliance 23 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
Another brilliant work by Gordon Burn. Fast moving, typically searing descriptions. The book conveys the filth and degredation of journalism, as one moves from broadsheets to tabloids,reflecting the decadence of society. We have lost a brilliant writer and novelist.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fullaclass 28 July 2005
Format:Paperback
Gordon Burn's Fullalove blew me away.
I'm obliged to make the statement as bold and undiluted and non-ambiguous as possible because, once you have read it, you will find it hard ever to make poetic, alluding, literary-conceit-filled, smart talk ever again. You're sated on it after this, see. Finished. Spent. Fullalove is fiction as cacophony...it's all going on in here, and the intensity and richness is dizzying, a fatiguing mix.
The narrator is middle-aged burned-out tabloid hack Norman Miller (the Mailer nod is deliberate and gone into at some length) who is mainly, for the purposes of plot, such as it is, assigned to the grim deathwatch of a Barrymore-esque TV presenter, about to pop his clogs in intensive care following an assault by his latest sordid pick-up. This is merely a prompt from which Burn hangs a loosely connected series of gruesome encounters from Miller's less-than-salubrious greatest muck-raking hits. We cover a lot of ground here:
"...the baby-butchers and child flayers, the gerontomonsters and paedobeasts, the blood satanists, human goulashers and media-wise thrill killers..."
all of which, Miller says, will appeal to the 'lip-mover' readership at his gutter-y end of the market. There's a grim and sobering litany of nastiness to swallow, and Miller just reaches into his repertoire and casts the nuggets as he remembers them, or as they suggest themselves.
But this isn't another novel about how crap/tawdry/ugly/cynical tabloid journalists are. Miller is a pitiable creature, not a monster. Oh, he talks a good fight down the pub with his bent and dented colleagues but he's got a cancer, and that cancer is the very last, the very infinitessimally small amount of compassion he feels he still might have.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fullaclass 25 July 2005
Format:Paperback
Gordon Burn's Fullalove blew me away.
I'm obliged to make the statement as bold and undiluted and non-ambiguous as possible because, once you have read it, you will find it hard ever to make poetic, alluding, literary-conceit-filled, smart talk ever again. You're sated on it after this, see. Finished. Spent. Fullalove is fiction as cacophony...it's all going on in here, and the intensity and richness is dizzying, a fatiguing mix.
The narrator is middle-aged burned-out tabloid hack Norman Miller (the Mailer nod is deliberate and gone into at some length) who is mainly, for the purposes of plot, such as it is, assigned to the grim deathwatch of a Barrymore-esque TV presenter, about to pop his clogs in intensive care following an assault by his latest sordid pick-up. This is merely a prompt from which Burn hangs a loosely connected series of gruesome encounters from Miller's less-than-salubrious greatest muck-raking hits. We cover a lot of ground here:
"...the baby-butchers and child flayers, the gerontomonsters and paedobeasts, the blood satanists, human goulashers and media-wise thrill killers..."
all of which, Miller says, will appeal to the 'lip-mover' readership at his gutter-y end of the market. There's a grim and sobering litany of nastiness to swallow, and Miller just reaches into his repertoire and casts the nuggets as he remembers them, or as they suggest themselves.
But this isn't another novel about how crap/tawdry/ugly/cynical tabloid journalists are. Miller is a pitiable creature, not a monster. Oh, he talks a good fight down the pub with his bent and dented colleagues but he's got a cancer, and that cancer is the very last, the very infinitessimally small amount of compassion he feels he still might have.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3.0 out of 5 stars The scuzzy aspects of contemporary life 14 May 2001
By TheIrrationalMan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Norman Miller, a burnt-out middle-aged reporter now working for a sleazy tabloid, is the man caught in the centre of this bizarre Kafkaesque tableu. Descending into a maze of sordidness and futility, he begins to question whether he is a spectator of the events before him, or whether he is actually an actual participant by virtue of some unfathomable chain of cause and effect. Burn's literate, topical prose, a collage of jargon, brand names and colloquiallisms, manages also to hint at the inner world of the distraught narrator, presenting a believable picture of middle-aged disaffection and loss. The fragmentary, digressive plot manages to evoke effects that are at times expressionistic, at times cinematic, almost phenomenological, as a barrage of images and situations come hurling at the reader, in the manner of experiences received in raw perception. This confidently-handled contemporary character study will appeal to all those who take an interest in the more sordid and scuzzier aspects of life today.
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