Review: Literature® by Guillermo Stitch

ZlodeyVolk

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#1
literature-guillamo-stitch.png


Wow. Just wow.

Literature® is the best new work of speculative fiction I have read since the 20th Century.

Witness a world in which literature, as we know it, has been outlawed. It doesn't matter where, it doesn't matter when; it has happened, and that's that. And those who continue to read literature for its own sake clearly are criminals.

Enter Billy Stringer—a sports journalist, working for what might be the last printed newspaper left standing. He's paid to write but he likes to read, and he has been given a choice: toe the line or suffer the consequences …

Given the premise, comparisons between Literature® and Fahrenheit 451 are inevitable. They're also misleading, because Guillermo Stitch has not written a world in which works of fiction are being hunted to extinction. Rather, he has created a world in which fiction has literally been deconstructed, re-imagined, and re-purposed, with the intention to re-wire the average person's brain and keep Industry's metaphorical wheels turning, thereby.

But to get to this world, you have to see past the surface. Put aside your preconceptions, and don't just look at the words. Let Billy Stringer's story draw you in—

Because draw you in it does. The prose is lean; the dialogues 'sound' authentic; and the pacing is quick, rather than headlong: it holds a reader's attention without feeling like a First-Person Shooter. Literature® is, moreover, laced with enough scalpel-sharp wit and dark humour that you'll never notice the satire sliding into your awareness until it's too late to feel any real discomfort.

Obviously Literature® is not going to appeal to everyone. For those who read for reasons other than distraction, though, Stitch's novella might be as a breath of fresh air.

Literature® is available on Amazon UK and Amazon.com.
 

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HareBrain

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#7
I read it. It didn't take long -- it is quite short, but I think just the right length. The voice is fresh and the ideas interesting. It pulls you along. I'm not sure that on the first read I really understood the "mechanics" of how literature was being repurposed, but that didn't dent my disbelief or break me out of the story. I also wasn't too sure about the "guided tour" intro as an authorial gambit, but it did its job and once through that, the whole thing felt very well-written. Its style is both invisible and atmospheric, which surely must be a difficult combination to carry off. It does have a noir feel, but without ever feeling like a pastiche. I very much enjoyed the book, found the ending satisfying, and would recommend it.
 

Guillermo Stitch

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#9
Underground Book Reviews have nominated Literature® for their Novel of the Year award and will be posting an incredible review next week - I'm not allowed reveal it yet but will post when I can.
 

Guillermo Stitch

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#11
I'll post a review on Goodreads and Amazon when I'm on a better device.

@Guillermo Stitch , is there anything else in the works?
Yes, would really appreciate those reviews when you get a chance!

Always something else in the works... something not too far off completion at the moment. Another thing with sci fi elements so if I can get away with it when the time comes, I'll promote it here.
 

Guillermo Stitch

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#15
A review of the book has been pubished in the September/October issue of Interzone magazine. A few excerpts:

"A smart satire, crammed with compelling ideas, and it confronts the corrosive influence of philistinism head-on."

"A witty celebration of the transformative power of fiction and a tour de force of laconic pastiche."

"The story belts along with astonishing energy. There are some impressive touches: for example, Billy’s dialogue sounds overly arch at first, but it soon becomes clear his speech is a symptom of his burgeoning engagement with the world of storytelling. There are arresting visual set pieces, such as the vast spaces of the Gripping Tails® factory, and some thoroughly absorbing ideas, such as text-driven vehicles. And there are genuine surprises as the narrative unfolds, some of which force significant revisions of the readers understanding of plot and character."


Deep thanks.
 

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