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Five Minute Fiction

Learn everything you need to know about a new book each week without even having to bother reading it. Ex-bookseller, publisher and writer Iain Martin leads you through the terrifying world of contemporary fiction from deep within the imposing Bookface Tower.
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Now displaying: July, 2015

Books. We've all read them, but are they any good?

Jul 28, 2015
06. R.I.P.

Well, I never imagined I'd be sharing my abiding love for Nigel Williams with the world from a delightful hotel on the fringes of New Cairo but that is the state of play this morning. If you haven't heard of Williams, he's generally reviewed and regarded as "Britain's premier farceur" or "The new P.G. Wodehouse" or even just "this chap who's been been banging out some consistently great comic fiction for about forty years now". He reached his creative peak in the 1990's but took a decade off from prose after 2003, and has returned with two hugely entertaining novels in the last three years.

Meanwhile, also in this week's episode, we unveil our new "voice of the Spoken Word" and things look a bit off-putting in the vivarium of Will Self's Deep Words. Enjoy it, folks, now I need to get up and find some coffee...

Jul 21, 2015
05. Seventy-Seven Clocks

Meet the hilariously abhorrent Whitstable family; but don't make any close friends because one by one they are being bumped off. It's a new case for Bryant and May of the Met's Peculiar Crimes Unit, two irascible codgers with rare skills and lateral thinking who alone can hope to solve a baffling series of murders. Yes, this week we're catching up with the work of Christopher Fowler. If you already love his books then you know what you're in for. If you're yet to have the pleasure, shame on you. SHAME. Come listen, friends. 

Jul 14, 2015
04. The Dust That Falls From Dreams

So there's no easy way to dress this up, but this week's review does contain a spoiler that some of you might rather avoid. I'm reviewing the new novel from Louis deBernieres and while I try my bestest to keep off the grass (by which I mean "plot") this week I do stray onto the verge (by which I mean "give away a significant plot-point"). What can I say? I'm a fool. Read the book first then come back and hear my breathless, wide-eyed enthusicast when the spoiler won't ruin your experience. Or, if you weren't going to read it, then no worries. I only bought the eBook so for all I know they give away the bit I spoil on the very back cover. Who knows? Not me. Um. Anyhoo.

Jul 7, 2015
03. The Spider In the Corner of the Room

Here's fun! This week's book is a fast-paced plot-driven thriller which you'll race through in no time at all, mouth hanging open, tongue out, your brain on electrified  tenterhooks. Be careful not to let a bit of dribble come out, especially if you're on a crowded commuter train, as people may judge you and no-one likes the thought of doing a day's work in clothes damp with saliva, even if it is your own. Trains eh? Commuting? It's less fun now that everyone has Kindles and you can't see what they're all reading. I imagine most are getting in a quick twenty pages of Grey before the day truly begins, but you never know - see that rodenty-looking guy in the corner in the nasty suit? I'll bet you a tenner he's reading something horrible about drills or knives...

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