Sunday, January 06, 2008


9 for 24 for 3?

Nicholas Lezard of the Guardian treads where few critics dare: namely, into print-on-demand books, where he has apparently found a gem:

Here's a first for this column: publishing on demand. I'm not sure I quite get it. Unless I've got hold of the wrong end of the stick, it would appear that if you want a copy of this book - which, when you get to the end of this review, you should - you send off a cheque for six quid to CB Editions, 146 Percy Road, London W12 9QL, and they will print one out for you.

The novel in question is Jennie Walker's 24 for 3, and Lezard appears to be downright amazed by it:
24 for 3 contains some of the tightest, cleanest writing I have seen in a long time. Both serious and playful, this is the best example of style revealing the contours of the interior that I have seen all year. It is hard to pick on a single paragraph that shines out - which is a good sign. I could point out a few wonderful similes (such as the noise of the Welsh double L "that reminds me of when you push a clockwork toy that's stuck") but it's about more than wonderful similes: it's the running stream of thought of an intelligent woman going through a crisis.... I wonder if it's too late for it to go on the Orange prize shortlist.
So far, Lezard's find (which ran two weeks ago) seems to have attracted no notice whatsoever. Googling the author and title brings just 9 hits -- and they're mostly the Guardian's own internal links to Lezard's article.

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