WHERE TO BEGIN WITH… Dostoyevsky Wannabe (indie press)
Slow Culture just turned 3, and we’re back to basics. Since Frank Zappa and Miles Davis have their own guides, it’s due time for Dostoyevsky Wannabe to have theirs. Are we exaggerating? Certainly not.
Dostoyevsky Wannabe helped us falling in love with literature again, and are not likely to leave our seasonal and massive book wishlists any time soon. In the span of 4 years, the Mancunian small press founded by Richard Brammer and Victoria Brown edited, designed and published dozens of titles. In our opinion, it’s been a quality over quality affair all along.
Here are six titles that enchanted our life until now, one page at a time.
Just like us, become a Dostoyevsky Wannabe wannabe with this selection:
Poetry: Richard Brammer, MDMA and Menthol Cigarettes (2015) and Victoria Brown, Cherry Bomb (2015).
About MDMA and Menthol Cigarettes:
Old school rave, obsolete cold war spies and the early days of drum and bass. This is what 1994 was all about. Plus William Burroughs signing a copy of The Naked Lunch at The Hacienda as The Smiths played their first Manchester gig around the corner at The Ritz.
Our take on the book: MDMA and Menthol Cigarettes has the power of making you nostalgic of an era you’ve never known. An abstractly realistic collection of poems, arousing curiosity and nourishing the craving of celebrating a microcosmic past.
Richard’s “Why I Write” is available here.
About Cherry Bomb:
Cherry Bomb is the first collection from Victoria Brown. Divided into three parts the poems take you from nineties TV show Blossom through Japanese whisky, apres-ski theme parties and Riot Grrrl to Bethnal Green, Echo and the Bunnymen, Jimmy McNulty, Sonic Youth and all the motor engine advice a girl could ever need.
Our take on the book: substantially in the same vein as MDMA and Menthol Cigarettes. But different. You know the feeling. Best served with Goo.
Novels: Geraldine Snell, overlove (2018) and Matthew Bookin, Honest Days (2018).
“After a moment of possible eye contact at a gig, my attraction to the band’s drummer – Curt – snowballed into limerent obsession. The unsent letters documenting my crush form the basis of overlove: a non-fiction novella concerned with love, boundaries, leaky jars and the female gaze in today’s context of digital communication, millennial malaise and searching online for something ‘more’.”
Our take on the book: a striking tale of obsession and self-discovery. Lust meets distance, imagination meets boundaries, touch meets data. An exciting and meaningful mixture raising capital questions on the modern human condition and its challenges.
overlove was featured in our #2018bestreads list on Instagram.
About Honest Days:
Honest Days is an unexpected delight. Bookin writes how he sees it — weaving images, dreams, and truth into tight addictive prose. It’s a book that captures the haze of the everyday and buffs it into magic.
Our take on the book: just like the cover design presages, Bookin’s style is naturalistic. Gorgeously naturalistic. We had no choice but to read it in one sitting since the vizualisation power whispered by the narration was purely hypnotizing.
Honest Days was featured in our #2018bestreads list on Instagram.
Short Stories : Elizabeth Ellen, Bridget Fonda (2015) and Beach Sloth, Mark's My Friend (2019).
About Bridget Fonda:
“A great little book about what it means to be a writer, a parent, and a woman in the 21st century. This is really a poem, rather than poems, meaning all the individual pieces are narrative and shaped the same and they build to form a coherent piece about trying and failing and not failing and trying again.”
Our take on the book: a contemplative but yet restless account of life (with a little l) and the banalities it offers. We enjoyed Bridget Fonda‘s ordinary and captivating tales so much that we ordered Fast Machine (from the same author) the week after to prolong the feeling.
About Mark’s My Friend:
Beach Sloth’s poetry is like if Andy Warhol wrote really banal but somehow profound poetry that crawled under your skin & tickled your brain & made you want to document every moment of your stupid life because he makes it seem weirdly glamorous & special— iconic.
Our take on the book: hilarious. Real. Surreal. Picturesque. Amusingly depressing. Randomly mastered. Highly shareable with unattached loved ones and impervious individuals of all sorts.