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Book Review: Paint a Vulgar Picture

February 11, 2011 by  

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Book Review: Paint a Vulgar Picture

Book Review: Paint a Vulgar Picture – by Various Authors
Serpent’s Tail – RRP – £8.99

This is a short story collection where each of the stories takes the title of a Smith’s song, and the 24 writers who contributed to its creation make a lot of different stories with these diverse starting points.

In ‘This Charming Man’ acclaimed novelist Mike Gayle takes a look at a successful novelist who based his story on his friends, and who will base the sequel on his friend’s reactions, in turn paying tribute to Morrisey’s own song ‘We hate it when out Friends become successful’.

Other stories take more a tangent, such as in James Flint’s ‘Shoplifters of the world Unite’ looks at the story of a young boy keeping guard over a trapped Armadillo, so that he can impress his friends.

The spectre of new technology raises its head in ‘Heaven knows I am miserable now’ where a naked rendition of the song is shown across the world on the internet. Helen Walsh’s story ‘There is a Light that never goes out’ looks at the plight of a young girl mistaken for a boy, while Jeremy Sheldon’s ‘Nowhere Fast’ looks at the life of a late thirties Headmaster trying to make sense of the younger generation.

The quality of writing in this collection is of a uniformly high standard, and although not every story will be to everyone’s taste, there will be something here for most readers, regardless of whether or not they are fans of The Smiths.

– Ben Macnair






 

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