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Adventures in Capitalism Paperback – 30 Jan 2003

2.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141007958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141007953
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,331,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'He has invented a fresh, contemporary style - it will sing in the ears of this generation' Malcolm Bradbury

About the Author

Toby Litt was born in 1968. He is the author of BEATNIKS, CORPSING and DEADKIDSONGS.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Toby Litt's short stories range from pure capitalism (after winning the lottery, a man refuses to believe people and only believes adverts) to urban fantasy (a ghost in a laundrette). His writing is deft and rapid-fire; the way in which these stories flow so eagerly from page to page will make it hard to put this book down. The shorter stories are delicious little comtemporary fables, to be savoured while sitting on buses or in the middle of shopping trips; the longer ones are clever and original uses of short fiction. Buy this book today, if you value your status as a consumer!
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Format: Paperback
Thoroughly enjoyed the effervescent "Corpsing" and thought that I would sample one of Toby Litt's earlier works to see if it would provide similar entertainment , but "Adventures in Capitalism" turned out to be a different animal altogether. The title was a bit of a misnomer as none of the stories provided any great insights into late 20th Century capitalist culture. I had expected a humourous Bill Bryson-esque expose of the vulgarities and iconoclasms of Western society but what in fact were provided were a series of surreal,incongruous and ultimately pointless short stories which generally failed to enlighten or stimulate. However some of the fantastic narratives and imagery were entertaining; the Fluffy Pink Bunny Rabbit, The Betamax Boy and the excellent Launderama were my pick of the bunch. But many of the stories were turgid and silly. HMV, Cosmetic , Wagamama and Michel Foucault were prime examples.
"Adventures in Capitalism" is readable and not unentertaining, but it is a bit puerile and probably best avoided.
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Format: Paperback
'Kafka for the me generation', my notes from ten years ago say, when I first tried reading this job lot of short stories (one, Launderama, even an essay in genre) packaged with devious ingenuity to look like some kind of statement. Less critical of capitalism than aspirational in tenor, this prentice work from Toby Litt, while gently mocking 'life as advertised', is plainly that of a young man with his eye on the up staircase, one who thinks 'tat from Habitat' counts as a witticism. (The one about Germans and jerry-built is even creakier.) These charmless, sloppily written despatches from (or looking down upon) very middle England are most promising when they seem about to veer or soar into Magnus Mills territory. Which they never do. The three-page riff on the harmless Jeremy Beadle is a nadir, as is HMV, the story that follows. The plainer the language, the safer. The rabbit costume shtick is overshadowed by David Sedaris's unforgettable Santa. The Wagamama tale is fun for a page or two ('As far as I'm concerned, ordering 23 at Wagamama is like buying a one-way-ticket to cliché city and then settling down to raise a family') before it dissolves in fatuity, though Litt's stab at French is deplorable (anyone ever been 'dans l'Angleterre'?), but it's the four pages of Please Use a Basket that get this its second star. As for the linguistic slackness, 'the desire became overbiding' (p57; overbearing? overriding?), '[friendship] will stay firm through thick and through thin' (p88; the phrase is 'through thick and thin'), '[t]o see me is to want to sh*g me - and that counts for both sexes: hetero or homo' (p89; the three redundant concluding words simply diminish the effect).Read more ›
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