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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: November, 2015

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

Nov 24, 2015
23. American Psycho

There's a newfound sense of peace and amity in the Five Minute Fiction studio as Bryce D'Abo seems to be behaving himself, and our new Creative Writing course headed up by Keef Richards from the Strolling Bones is proving to be a provocative and exciting project. So this week we dust off an old paperback and curl up with a contemporary masterpiece of lady-chopping and drug-hoovering, American Psycho. Is it more than just a one-note joke? Is it deep and meaningful? Let us consider it, coldly, as men and women of science.

Nov 17, 2015
22. Four Blind Mice

In an attempt to ascertain just how badly the memory cheats, this week I'm trying to remember as much as I can about one of my least-favourite reads - and then I pause the tape, do a bit of research, and then let you know how wide of the mark my recall was. This week, then, there are more spoilers than usual, but since it's about Four Blind Mice I honestly don't think any of you will care. Or not too much. Meanwhile Bryce D'Abo looks pretty impregnable and has taken full control of The Spoken Word, and we launch our Creative Writing Course, lead by the autobiographer, philosopher and guitarist Keith Richards. No, really. No, really.

Nov 10, 2015
21. Dependence Day

This week I'm looking at another personal favourite novel, 1994's Dependence Day by the comedian turned novelist Robert Newman - who is currently back on Radio Four with his new show Robert Newman's Entirely Accurate Encyclopaedia of Evolution. Dependence Day is a straightforward yet elegant debut suffused with exceptional prose and a wonderful confidence, and I'm baffled as to why it's out of print. You can't even get an ebook, which is just bizarre. But you can track it down on Ebay and Amazon Marketplace so you definitely should. Do it now. And while you're at it, get his other books too. Meanwhile we also talk books with Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones. No, really. No, really.

Nov 3, 2015
20. Toast On Toast

This week we're reviewing the shameless TV tie-in comedy pretend autobiography Toast On Toast (showing here) in a slight break from all the serious books under discussion. You'll remember how we usually look at heavyweight literature like Remembrance of the Daleks? Well the truth is I'm reading a big clever literary novel right now but it's going to take me a while, and just sometimes I need something with a quick turnaround. So yes. Anyway. If you've never watched Toast of London (this show here) you probably won't read this book but if you have, you'll know exactly what we're in for. What's amazing is that I got through the whole episode without saying "Yes, I can hear you, Clem Fandango."

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