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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, but odd, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: The Age of Wire and String (Hardcover)
This new edition of Ben Marcus's 'stories', originally published in 1995, is a useful addition to the rather short list of fully realised pataphysical works. It is one of the oddest books I've ever read, appearing to be a handbook for survival - or a list of rules - in a world almost entirely unlike our own, but described in the same words.
It is relentlessly downbeat, describing the travails of survival in an apparently hostile environment (although there is no indication that this is some post-apocalyptic dystopia). It is only in the very final paragraph that there is any glimmer of optimism.
The one thing it does remind me of is the stories that are told around the table during Jewish feast days, and the various rules for dress, behaviour and dining that fundamentalists of many religions repeat to themselves during prayer and remembrance. As a non-believer, the book makes no less sense than do the belief systems of established religions.
Don't be put off. It is easy to get through, even if it makes little sense to our world. A few felicitous phrasings made me chuckle. And the illustrations are entirely appropriate to the work, adding to the feeling of otherness.
And it did make me want to write this review, which I don't often do.
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4.5 out of 5 stars (2 customer reviews)
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