Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Shuffle – Richard Blandford

The Publisher: The Big Hand 
Publication Date: 4 Oct 2012

4 stars
This is one of the best collections of short stories I have read since Roald Dahl’s Switch Bitch.
 A pastiche of postmodernist styles -  as the title explains - that take the reader on a swooping read through a range of subjects from art, sex, relationships, religion, the afterlife, science and social networking.
There are recurrent themes of bullying, rejection and guilt and fantastic dives into surrealism with ideas that could quite possibly happen in our information bombarded society, a society obsessed with the supernatural and the work hard/reward system. People stricken with a virus that makes them speak with the voice of Tom Baker, the spirits of the dead taking over the world’s digital media and astral projection of the sexual kind with dire consequences. Satire, irony, a glut of escapism.

Richard Blandford writes with a clear bold voice. This is frontline innovative writing, leaping out over the top and shaming all the dross in no man’s land. I devoured these stories in one galumphing read. More please.

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