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Hunters & Gatherers Paperback – 31 Dec 1995

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 31 Dec 1995
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Product details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press; Reprint edition (31 Dec. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879516011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879516017
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,821,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

An original and wickedly funny novel of collecting, obsession and writing --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

In this maddeningly clever novel about collectors, collecting and a search for the world's most reclusive writer since J.D. Salinger, Steve Geddes is a writer who has been commissioned to write a book about collectors. His research introduces him to a Felliniesque cast of characters, including an alluring woman named Victoria who collects lovers who collect cars. While some try to organize the chaos of the universe by collecting, others do it by amassing knowledge. One of these others is Steve's friend Jim, who has made a long term financial commitment to purchase all 18 volumes of The Books of Power, the most eccentric encyclopedia ever written (the entry on Britain begins "England swings like a pendulum do"). Steve notices there is an entry on the reclusive writer, Thornton McCain, that mentions a novel Steve has never heard of - The Bullet Leaves the Gun. In spite of himself, Steve sets out in search of this possibly apocryphal book and its reclusive author, and what he finds is astounding. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By A Customer on 11 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
Having never heard of Geoff Nicholson, I was mooching around a bookshop and came upon two of his novels "Hunters & Gatherers" and "The Eroll Flynn Novel". Both caught my attention and I ended up plumping for "Hunters & Gatherers". I absolutely loved it.
The characters are very real and believable - all the threads of the story interlink very cleverly by the end of the novel, although some may find it all a little too convenient.
Part thriller, part comedy, part just a normal guy going about writing a book - the pace never lets up and I found it a complete page turner.
Since reading this have bought and read "Bleeding London" and "Footsucker" and thouroughly enjoyed them - although both of them are a lot darker in their humour.
Having bought/lent/recommended "Hunters & Gatherers" to others - not one person I know who has read it has not thoroughly enjoyed it.
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By A Customer on 7 Mar. 2000
Format: Hardcover
Though you can say this novel is tricksy; it`s about a writer down on his luck, meeting accidentally another writer, and post-modern; it has insert chapters about hunting and gathering; and you can see bits of Martin Amis and Paul Auster in it...it is also a fantastic page-turner of a read. The characters are well-drawn and fascinating--he is great at his female characters--the plot has twists and turns you cannot believe--and there are set-pieces of comedy which make you laugh out loud. I literally couldn`t put it down and ended up reading it in the bath. Fiercely intelligent (Borges,Nabokov and Bellow seems to be other influences) but also a rollicking adventure as they say ,in the spirit of Tom Sharpe and other very British farceurs. This was my first Nicholson novel and after this I quickly read the rest. Most of his novels would make great films too...visual,action-packed with great characters.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read 'Footsucker' and 'Volkwagens'; this is my favorite Nicholson novel so far. (The others were good too.) A great cast of eccentrics showcase the search for the nature of collectors and their collections.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, funny and well-crafted novel hits the spot 11 May 2000
By Ian Muldoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a story about a writer who is collecting stories about people who collect things. Things such as cars, beer cans, lovers, sounds, knickers,information,even a man who collects Martini Recipes: " I made a series of variations on the Martini theme for this guy. I became familiar with the Naked Martini, the Trinity, the de Luxe, the Gibson, the Perfect, the Gordon, the Somerset and the Queen. We could have had the International but I was clean out of absinthe. I was initiated into the mysteries of the vermouth rinse and the vermouth spray, and told of barmen who merely SHOW the vermouth to the gin. I was lectured on the significance of bitters, the twist of lemon peel and the cocktail onion."(p66 Paperback Edition). In the event, the barmen, our hero, gets irritated with the arrogance of the customer, urinates in one martini which the customer mistakes for yellow Charteuse and promptly hurls the drink into our hero's face who relaliates by throwing the jug full of the special mixture over the customer. A melee ensues. Apart from the sheer joy of the characters and their situations, it does make one reflect on the obsession which is the novel's themes: Imelda Marcos and her shoes, Pol Pot and his skulls, Elizabeth Taylor and her husbands, me and my ? You and your...? A very enjoyable read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one should be filmed 23 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
According to the jacket blurb, Nicholson has sold film rights to more than one of his novels. This is the one I'd like to see. The intricacies of the story and the criss-crossing of paths the narrator and the other characters make in this wild trip demand to be seen. I've also read Footsucker (not as erotic as the two reviewers are making it out to be), but this novel has more weight and satirical insight. Thank God, for writers who know how to poke fun at the rest of the world, who have no mercy for the ignorant and the vain, who relish giving it to the arrogant and the condescending and who still have room for a bit of compassion for the lonely, the misunderstood and the off-center misfits of this often insane world we live in. I only wish Nicholson were writing more often. It seems that he's sitting back and reaping the rewards of his satire. Good for him!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Collecting laughs 24 Mar. 2003
By Glen Engel Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a comedy novel about collectors, with an oh-so-perfect title. It begins with a long list of things that collect, in all manifestations of the word, then proceeds to introduce us to a weird cross-section of British society. There is the car wash man with a craving for knowledge who decides to collect the entire contents of "The Books of Power," a strange encyclopedia set, into his memory. His boss, the prototypical used car salesman, with the pitch perfected, and a collection of knickers from his one-night stands (funny, how knickers is so much more tame than the American version "panties," no?). The wealthy auto collector and his wife who collects sexual experiences. And, finally, the narrator, who is writing a book on collectors, and so finds himself ironically in the position of collecting collectors.
The plot is an intricate construction that links all of the above together. I found it almost exactly opposite of a mystery novel, in that you have to unravel the events to get to the point, whereas Nicholson works to weave his characters together to show you the mystery. The book has echoes a couple of other works that I had read in the past, but these are not conscious on Nicholson's part, I believe, but simply the baggage I brought with me. It is similar to Stephen Fry's The Hippopotamus, which should not be that surprising, as Fry's novel was also a British comedy about writers. It had some of the feel of A.S. Byatt's Possession, in that Nicholson continued to explore the theme of collecting much farther than I thought possible, and possession is an aspect of collecting.
It is a short book--only about 200 pages in the American edition--and Nicholson's prose style is breezy and vibrant, easily sped through. The only thing I could find to complain with was the strange narrative shifts early on when I had trouble placing the narrator in the sections told in what I had thought was third person, but later ended up being first person anecdotal. I've got Nicholson's earlier novel, The Food Chain, and I'm looking forward to spending three hours with it sometime soon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Nicholson novel so far 16 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Having read 'Footsucker' and 'Volkwagens'; this is my favorite Nicholson novel so far. (The others were good too.) A great cast of eccentrics showcase the search for the nature of collectors and their collections.
3.0 out of 5 stars WHY WE COLLECT. 17 Mar. 2016
By M.A. De Neve - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Steve Geddes is writing a book about collectors. He meets several unusual collectors. There’s the girl who collects sounds, the beer can collector whose entire collection may or may not have been stolen, the married couple who collects sex partners, an encyclopedia sales lady, a used car cleaner and a professional comedian.
They come together in a variety of ways, and the author manages along the way to make sense about why people collect the things they do and why collecting can be an unhealthy obsession.
A few years ago, I read “Everything and More” by this author, and it ranks as one of my all time favorite novels. I’ve read a few of his books since and they are not exceptionally interesting. Perhaps I hold him to the high standard of the other book.
Television shows often feature stories without a plot. The goal is to develop the characters through a series of misadventures. This book is that kind of non plot.
If you like reading the unusual novel, Nicholson might be the author for you.
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