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Tales from the Mall [Paperback]

Ewan Morrison
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 9.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 May 2012
Fashion. Food Courts. Lingerie. Fire Bombing. Suicide. Free Parking. Welcome to the Mall.    Why would one woman threaten to kill another for a pair of discounted shoes? Why are cross-dressers drawn to mall car parks? What do impulse buys have to do with rioting? And why are market research companies hiding the truth from us?    From one of the UK s most acclaimed literary and media talents, Tales From The Mall, is a mash-up of fiction, essays and true stories, that tells the rise of the most iconic symbol of our modern age the shopping mall. From over a hundred interviews and confessions, Morrison re-tells the true-life tales of those who work, shop and even find love inside their walls.    With wry wit, insight and compassion, Morrison uncovers the secrets of retail heaven and hell, to reveal how malls manipulate our emotions in cleverly calculated ways, how they are an ideal space to meet a new lover or to kill yourself and how they are taking over the world.    A startling window on our time, to make you think, fear and laugh. Retail will never be therapy again.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Cargo Publishing (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908885017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908885012
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ewan Morrison is an outspoken and distinctive voice in British literature - a 'renaissance man' who makes films and acts as a cultural commentator and essayist. He is the author of a trilogy of novels: Swung, Distance and Ménage (Jonathan Cape / Vintage) and of the collection The Last Book You Read and Other Stories (Chroma). He has been short-listed for the Le Prince Maurice Literary Award and for Arena Magazine Man of the Year in 2005. He is the winner of a Royal Television Society Award and has been nominated for three BAFTAs. His novel Close Your Eyes will be released in 2012. The feature film adaptation of his novel Swung is being made by Sigma Films.

Product Description


Tales From the Mall is a great book. It s touching and emotional and part of a new form of literary storytelling. It s worth reading, worth loving. --James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces

Ewan Morrison captures beautifully the point at which anecdote becomes urban myth and reportage slides into fiction. This feels like a really important step towards a literature of the 21st century. --Claire Armistead, Books Editor, The Guardian

Morrison continues Ballard's tradition of locating menace beneath the sleekness and shine of postindustrial life. You also learn a lot along the way. A truly interesting book. --Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X

About the Author

Ewan Morrison is the acclaimed author of Swung, Menage, Distance and The Last Book You Read. He is a BAFTA award nominated filmmaker and lives in Glasgow.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and innovative 1 Sep 2012
Tales from the Mall is brilliant. Ewan Morrison opens your eyes to all that is scary, sad and funny about malls by using fact and fiction in such an innovative way. Who would have thought that a book about malls could captivate and enthral? But it does -and I loved it. I had first of all bought it on Kindle but I've also bought it as a proper book. How else can you thrust Tales from the Mall at someone and say `you must read this'? Ewan Morrison is one of the most exciting writers in Scotland today and Tales from the Mall is one of the stand-out books of 2012.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget what you thought you knew about novels. 28 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'Tales from the Mall' is a rare book. In a world where demographics and algorithms seem to define what we as consumers apparently want Ewan Morrison has managed to highlight where it all began with heart, passion and informative diversions into the psyche of those ever-present monolithic structures which alter the natures of entire towns by their construction and gradual decline.
This is a novel. It is just not a traditional model of a novel. The real characters are the Malls themselves, their story arc spanning from birth, growth, conflict, resolution, decline, death and eventual re-birth. Not unlike Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation' novels there are minor human characters who drift in and out of relevance but it is the 'empire' that still stands. The ideology.
I approached the book with trepidation, thinking at first that it would be a vanity project about a series of buildings which I don't particularly enjoy being in but the very human drive behind each symbiotic essay, story and factoid managed to convert me. 'Tales from the Mall' is a very hard book to put down and, when you eventually do, it leaves your head spinning in the best possible way. Without an obvious question mark this book manages to ask us to look in depth at something that we very often take for granted but which affects us in ways that we have never really considered.
Buy this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mallteasers 13 Sep 2012
Ewan Morrison's Tales From The Mall is a charming & engaging anthology of stories, anecdotes & information about malls & mall culture. Far from being the soulless temples to consumerism he has discovered the beating heart of their existance in the first-hand accounts from the staff & customers.

Written mainly in the vernacular (a favourite Glasgow word for describing "the way it was telt"), Morrison has touched on the hundreds of lives & situations that populate mall culture, and how, in turn the mall has touched it's denizens, from cleaners to customers. Far from the vacant, emotionless space we think of as a Mall, Morrison explores the personal stories of those living their lives through its existence. From the wryly amusing to the near tragedy of a suicide attempt averted, this cross-continental cross-section of Americana that coats the world has been given a more understanding & sympathetic voice.

Interspersed by these narratives are the "mall-facts": The history & the psychology (pathology surely?) behind the mall concept : how millions have been spent in the study of consumer manipulation to exploit customers & their weaknesses; how the mall has developed & devolved through exploration of the rising phenomenon of the dead mall.
This dichotamy (I love that word) between the cynicism of the corporations that run the malls & those that frequent them is highlighted in Morrisson's wry, unsentimental but engaging & poingnant thoughtfest that is Tales From The Mall.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tales from the Mall. Ewan Morrison. 30 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At last Ewan Morrison has written another book. I've been waiting for ages. This is not a novel, it is a book of short stories, or incidents that happen in, or involving a mall. There are also essays and short chapters of facts about malls and mall shopping, which certainly don't bore you, they really get you thinking. This is a great book and to be basic and honest I wanted to keep turning the page, I wanted more when it had finished. The short stories were uniquely entertaining, cringing and sad. The facts about us shoppers and malls, the stats, the psychology of what makes us tick in a mall, what makes us buy, is rather frightening, like we've been had, like we are so predictable. It really does get you going. I really enjoyed reading this book; I just hope we can get another one soon from this Scottish Writer. I don't want to wait too long!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good new Scottish author 16 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bought this after coming across the author on Twitter.

Came highly recommended by Irvine Welsh. Personally I thought it was good but not great - but definitely look forward to move from this author in the future.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought it would be 23 Sep 2013
By sm1975
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought this boom was going to be a bit like the 'Babylon' book series I.e Hotel Babylon. This is a collection of strange stories, supposed legends about shopping malls and a history of malls rolled into one. I didn't really like this book. It wasn't bad but the stories weren't that interesting....
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Impressive if you can't read 1 Sep 2012
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I have often wondered what it is about Ewan Morrison that manages to attract so many first time reviewers who stop by, leave five star reviews, and then don't pop back onto Amazon until the next Ewan Morrison publication. In the case of Tales From The Mall, I can only surmise that they can't read. This is a hotch potch of parochial short stories, notes, essays and jottings on the loose theme of shopping centres. Except that they don't seem to be convincing, especially in a Scottish context. Scotland just doesn't have shopping centres like the ones we are supposed to believe in. Those that were built never really took off and are just full of discount shops and boarded up units. The real glamour stores are still on the high street.

Morrison can write good short stories - we saw that with The Last Book You Read - but after that, everything has been really pretentious, trying too hard to be arty. His latest novel tries and fails to get away with second person narrative. But this, a promised blend of fact and fiction, a sort of Schott's Miscellany of Shopping Centres, is really scraping the barrel. A single idea churned and rechurned; stories padded by filler apparently in an effort to fill pages.

No thanks. Not for me - I can read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Flat -pack offering.
This book has it's ok side - the stories are very short and reasonably well crafted - but the effect of reading them together like this is ennui. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lulubeth
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking read
I loved this book more than I expected to. I started reading before bed and next thing I knew I had read the entire book and it was after 4 in the morning. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Rhona Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars Peeling back the brands to find the human stories beneath
Most books that examine the `consumer society' tend to come tied down by some fairly heavy academic or intellectual baggage: weighty sociology, cultural criticism drowned in... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Dale Lately
3.0 out of 5 stars Tales From The Mall
The mixture of factual analyisis and narrative did not quite work for me. The information presented was interesting but would have benefitted from a more structured approach. Read more
Published 15 months ago by jac
4.0 out of 5 stars Two books in one
I stuck to the task of reading this book in chronological order without skipping from fact to fact, or story to story. Read more
Published 19 months ago by jannert
5.0 out of 5 stars A change in direction but not in quality
Tales from the Mall continues Ewan Morrison's panache for writing tales of modern love and life without judgement but this new title not only plays with what the structure of a... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mr. J. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this if you love literature and hate capitalism
Funny, perceptive, angry, post-apocalyptic: Tales from the Mall pushes literature to its limits and comes out singing. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Helen Finch
5.0 out of 5 stars Always one to watch
I really enjoyed Morrison's last book Menage but this is really quite a switch for him. He has become something of a cultural commentator these days mainly on digital media but it... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Buck Mulligan
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