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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Size isn't everything
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...
Published on 12 Jan 2012 by velzygirl

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Possibly a failed experiment?
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...
Published on 9 Dec 2011 by Sam Quixote


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Possibly a failed experiment?, 9 Dec 2011
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Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crushed Mexican Spiders (Possibly Forty Ships) (Hardcover)
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?

The book is put out by Unbound, a crowd sourced publisher who say they are doing something revolutionary though they are only putting out second rate material from already established writers - for my money, not that revolutionary. If you go to their website you can find out more about how it works and if you chip in with a donation, you get your name printed in the book, the list in this book being almost as long as the stories themselves. Still, an interesting experiment but I think self-publishing via the Kindle is far more revolutionary.

Not the best work from Tibor Fischer but a well-made book and at least one of the stories was fun. That said, it takes about 10 minutes to read so if you love book design you'll be buying this more for the tactile object of the book rather than the content. For anyone else, you have to ask yourself if paying seven quid for 32 pages is worth it or not - for me, not 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
This review is from: Crushed Mexican Spiders (Possibly Forty Ships) (Hardcover)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Crushed Mexican Spiders / Possibly Forty Ships by Tibor Fischer, 25 Nov 2011
This review is from: Crushed Mexican Spiders (Possibly Forty Ships) (Hardcover)
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
This review is from: Crushed Mexican Spiders (Possibly Forty Ships) (Hardcover)
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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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiders beat centipede, 23 Dec 2011
This review is from: Crushed Mexican Spiders (Possibly Forty Ships) (Hardcover)
I don't want to give the story away, especially with such a short story, but spoiler alert, this is horror without any of the gory Human Centipede baloney. It'd make a great film. "Possibly" is Fisher's sacrilegious revision of Western civilization with an amazing gag rate. Fischer is a leading light in Occupy London and it's no surprise that he's gone with independent Unbound for these two stories. And never mind the writing, feel the jacket. A gem. A real slim object of desire. Thanks to This is Nice for tipping me off about this.

Best thing he's done since "The Thought Gang".
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crushed Mexican Spiders by Tibor Fischer, 8 July 2012
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Crushed Mexican Spiders is a short story about a young woman who returns to her London flat to find that her keys don't work and someone else is living in it. Her mobile numbers don't go through to the people she knows and her ATM and credit cards no longer work. She is alone in London, homeless, penniless and with no one to turn to. How on earth does she go on from here?

I enjoyed the story and it really got me thinking. It highlights the anonymity of living in a large city, it makes you wonder how someone can rebuild their life if they cut all ties with their past. Also you do wonder what it must be like to be mentally ill. This woman truly believes that she lives in the flat, but her neighbours and the flat's occupant don't recognise her. She must feel so confused and frustrated.

This story is very short and took me about 10 minutes to read. It is a tantalising story that could easily be made into a full-length novel. It is exactly what a short story should be. It can be interpreted in many different ways and keeps you mulling it over long after you have finished it.

Unfortunately I can't help feeling short-changed though. I bought the Kindle edition and was surprised by how short the story was. The hardback edition contains a second story 'Possibly Forty Ships' but this is omitted from the Kindle version, which was very disappointing and means I cannot give a full review of the book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars all too short - and not as the print version, 22 May 2012
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I really liked the story - long time Tibor fan. One word of warning though, it doesn't include the other short story 'Possibly Forty Ships', which is in the hardback version. My fault - bit naive.....
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Crushed Mexican Spiders (Possibly Forty Ships)
Crushed Mexican Spiders (Possibly Forty Ships) by Tibor Fischer (Hardcover - 24 Nov 2011)
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