“Kings, lords, liars, usherettes, goal-hangers, gun-men and prostitutes, Whether or not these stories bear any relation to life as it is lived in Endland (sic) is not my problem and good riddance to all those what prefer to read abt truly good, lucky and nice people – you won’t like this crap at all. Bear in mind it is not a book for idiots or time-wasters but many of them are wrote about in it. Pax Americana. Death to unbelievers…”
A series of cautionary tales for the digital age, Endland Stories is a collection of comical and brutal short fiction. Taken together, the stories create a unique view of Britain at the close of the millennium. It is a landscape that is both modern and medieval, moving from Northern cities under Bosnian-style counterattack to haunted supermarkets and tower blocks. Endland (sic) is populated by till-girls, sad bikers, amateur time-travelers, drunken football fans and gods with names like Porridge, Kali and Spatula.
Etchells’ highly individual prose style combines archaic turns of phrase with modern themes and imagery—an exploration begun in performances such as (Let the Water Run its Course) to the Sea that Made the Promise (1986), Hidden J (1994) and Disco Relax (1999).
“surreal, compulsive… probably the most original and unsettling read you’re likely to have this year.”
THE BIG ISSUE
“the scenery is taken straight from a low-budget Blade Runner… brilliantly welds together archaic language with computer-speak to create a funny, caustic collection.”
“books of 1998 that I have relished – Endland Stories by Tim Etchells (one of those unexpected jiffy bags that insist on being read, at once, and probably out loud).”
“reads as if written by one of Anthony Burgess’s more gifted Clockwork Orange droogs.”
“the best yet from the pulpsters!”
“though his theme is the state of the nation, Etchells has little time for the new realism of the last few years, placing himself instead in the tradition of Ballard and Moorcock. Hacking up our comforters—TV cartoons, mythologies, children’s toys and board games—he deftly strips away the sentimental wadding we use as insulation from reality. A dance through the ruins of modern Britain… Etchells takes a Sadean delight in casual cruelty, creating a flippant and contorted technomedieval world whose gods are named Tesco and Blowjob, the spectre of real lives and real suffering is uncannily present.”