This brand new Endland publication places material from Etchells’ now out-of-print, 1999 publication Endland Stories alongside more than 20 new stories, many of them previously unpublished. The new collection, a definitive Endland, with a special introduction by Jarvis Cocker, was released by And Other Stories in November 2019. Endland is also available as an audiobook via Audible here.
Kings, lords, liars, goal-hangers, killers, psychics 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 about truly good, lucky and nice people – you won’t like this crap at all.
A comical and brutal weave of parables gone wrong, Etchells’ collected Endland stories holds a broken mirror to England. In its garish but strangely familiar world of empty tower blocks, 24-hour cyber cafes and bomb sites, a motley collection of misfits, wanderers and charmed drunks do their best to survive. Nothing is stable in Endland and what’s more, the gods have started drinking at lunchtime, which can only lead to trouble.
Conjured in a mix of slang, pub anecdote, folktale and science fiction, Endland is the nightmare unfolding just outside the window – a glitchy parade of aging bikers and ghost children, cut-price assassins and witless wannabe celebs.
The world fashioned by Thatcher, Google, NATO, ICANN, Brexit, Big Brother, Bin Laden and Trump needs new narratives to make sense of it. In Endland, with feverish wit and a broken compass, Etchells unpicks the myths and strange realities we’re caught up in.
‘Etchells is one of the few writers on the front line of British avant-garde theatre who made a tough, eloquent, emotional new language of ideas about class, human fragility, lust, embarrassment and a good night out. He is a legend.’
‘It insists on being read, at once, and probably out loud.’
M. John Harrison
‘Tim Etchells’ sense of humour – black, bleak and yet, against both odds and reason, somehow warm, empathic and compassionate – is all over these stories of a country that’s been living inside our own for some time now.’
Adrian Searle, art critic
‘Wonderful and horrible. Biker gangs and diminished gods, ruins and social collapse. Do not despair: the language is as rich as it is faltering, the tone as stoical as it is hilarious.’
Jeremy M. Davies
‘If Derek Jarman, Spike Milligan, J. G. Ballard, and Mark E. Smith had all survived to frolic together in the ruins of theme-park Britain . . . if the world contained such wonders as a Hell’s Angel named UNESCO and a deity sorely in need of a good #MeTooing . . . then every one of these parties would be lining up to flog Endland (sic) as the long-awaited solution to the last word in pub-quiz brain-teasers: “WHY IS MODERN LIFE SO RUBBISH?”’
‘Endland is an uppercase book, a confidential shout, an ear punch, a textual road trip between orality and literacy.’
‘This book is dangerous. This book tells it like it was & is.’
‘As England totters like drunk towards its cliff edge, Tim Etchells’ exquisite dystopia Endland (sic) feels like a necessary balm. It’s as though Jonathan Swift met Mark E Smith and together they set about collecting an anthology of cautionary tales for a country in the paroxysms of violent delusion and arrogant despair. It is as linguistically explosive as it is formally inventive as it is politically astute as it is humane. I have never lived in a moment when our country has needed its satirists more. None has delivered with more imagination and force than Tim Etchells does with Endland.’
‘Abandon all soap, ye who enter here; you won’t stay clean in “Endland.” A squalidly funny collection of short stories set in the ruined fairground of Brexit Britain, these “postcards from hell” present parochial filth as mock epic. . . . Etchells’s depravity may smell like Johnny Rotten but his linguistic flair comes from Joyce and Burgess.’
‘[Endland] is horrible, brilliant, deliberately provoking. At times I wished it was over; now I wish it had never stopped.’
‘Etchells makes sparks fly by allowing the mythic to rub against everyday existence … scorching, bitter satire of how society is screwed by inequality. A cracklingly original voice.’
‘An incisive commentary on the current social and political omnishambles. This essential book is just what we need right now, and more than we deserve.’Kirkus Reviews
‘A politically charged and graphic portrait of Western societies hanging on by a thread … incisive.’
‘A very strong tincture of the present moment, which of course it never mentions. No book is even remotely like it.’
‘Relentlessly unpredictable, Etchells’ genius leaves nothing untouched – you will be panting and laughing and gagging for more.’
‘I love Tim Etchells for his apocalyptic vision, his piercing satire, his surreal poetry, but first and foremost for his wit. In Endland, he shines a fierce light on the age of anxiety and delusion we have stumbled into.’
‘Etchells’s stories deliver a difficult, darkly funny, sharp critique of modern England, and live up to indie rock veteran Jarvis Cocker’s description in his introduction: “They are frightening, but they’re also necessary.’
Booksellers on Endland
‘This is a new bible for our times, of narcissistic despot gods and broken humans, their condition leading them on an endless search for love via LOLs, moments of medieval barbarity and pant-shitting fear. It is a glorious, triumphant collection of tales for us all.’ Henry Layte, The Book Hive, Norwich
Praise for the 1999 collection Endland Stories
‘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.’ The Times
‘Reads as if written by one of Anthony Burgess’s more gifted Clockwork Orange droogs.’ The Guardian
‘The best yet from the pulpsters!’ Jeff Noon
‘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.’ Attitude