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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: August, 2015

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

Aug 31, 2015
11. Pilcrow

It's blastage from the pastage this week as we delve into the dusty bookshelves of yesterwhen and pluck out a classic of the modern era which has somehow managed to avoid every prize going, and exists in an utterly undeserved obscurity. Come join me to hear about one of literature's weakest characters.

In other news, Deep Words is blessed this week as Dawkins (our resident thinker) is getting decidedly chatty so I think we're all going to have our minds stretched and improved.

Join us next week for more of the same, and if you'd like me to bring you back any nuts from my trip to Beirut then let me know. Their wasabi cashews are to die for. Just FYI....

Aug 25, 2015
10. The Debt To Pleasure

Welcome to show #10. This week I'm dipping back into the glorious canon of an author's backlist, and talking about a book first published in 1996. Now, I was a young, silly man then, and still didn't work with books so I missed this one at the time. What do I remember from 1996? I very much enjoyed David Baddiel's Time For Bed and the curio which was Night Train by Martin Amis. Horrifically I realise this is as near as dammit to being twenty years ago. Days in pubs, and Euro '96 and the Pistols reforming in Finsbury Park...
     Remembrances of things past are often warm and delightful, unless you're Tarquin Winot regaling the reader with your increasingly unsettling life story over a delicious luncheon. Which, by a staggering coincidence, is the main course served up for you in this week's podcast, which, as always, I hope you enjoy, and if not please tell Chef. 

Aug 18, 2015
09. Pictures Or It Didn't Happen

This week we consider a deliberately slim volume from crime-writer and doyenne of psychological thrillers, Sophie Hannah.

Writing for Quick Reads must be an interesting brief for an author: "we want you at the top of your game, doing what you do best, but you've only got around 30-35,000 words to play with because we need these books to be short".

So does the format work and can we have fun in such a tiny novella? Let me investigate.

In other news, the next two books to feature have been recommended by listeners, so why not add your favourite book to my pile? tweet me your suggestions @theiainmartin or visit me at www.iainmartinbooks.co.uk

Aug 11, 2015
08. The Wallcreeper

Breathless, twitching, feverish and on fire, I finished this book and raced to record how good I thought it was, for your edification. You're welcome.

On the way I adopted a new author for the Deep Words Vivarium and managed to use the word "monogamic" - if I'd tried two takes I might not have been reduced to drivelling out this kind of embarrassing word-based slurry. I'm sorry. And I feel quite stupid.

If you're in Edinburgh, by the way, check out Bryce D'Abo's new show, "Always The Twain".

Laters, potaters.

Aug 4, 2015
07. The Secret Adversary

In episode seven we snuggle up with a crime novel written almost a century ago, but which, in an unusual feat of timey-wimeyness was in fact televised over the last couple of weekends. The TV adaptation, while enjoyable, differed hugely from the book, probably as a way of bringing humour to the lead actor's role to ease him in. I'm not sure of the extent that the story differed, but on the strength of part one it seems quite a bit. I wonder why? TV execs, eh? Bless them.What else is going on this week? The Man Booker Prize longlist was announced, and left me cold. As a former bookseller, I would have liked to see a couple of commercial choices or big names, while the writer in me is glad to see it's probably all about the quality of the writing this year. Anyway, herewith my witter...

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