Monday, April 6, 2009

'Nobody told me there would be days like these' by Amanda Maxwell

The one thing I love about the Serps press is that it always surprises me…but at the same time, it doesn’t. Everything they’ve dropped so far always surprises me in regards to subject matter – from homemade tattoos to up & coming Australian photography, and now short stories… the common thread running through all the titles is greatness.
When I first saw that 'Nobody...' was released by the Serps I really didn’t know what to expect – I mean, from photo books to literature? A bold move, but also a great one…but what was it like? What is it about? Who is this author and what is her writing style? I had no idea what to expect, but I was curious as fuck, and after all, if its got a Serps logo, its got a seal of quality…
For those who don’t know first hand about self publishing a zine, book or curating an exhibition, its not often about money making, but about a great amount of passion and belief in certain works, and the feeling of duty to release something great to the world at large….and with this rattling round my head, I was wondering what ol’ Thomas Jeppe (captain of SS Serps) was playing at with this release – I mean, what was it about this author and these stories that motivated him enough to put it out? Well the only way to find out was to read the damn thing…and that’s exactly what I did.

I finished it, start to finish on one train journey.

Usually if you finish something quickly you feel cheated - like watching a gig of four songs, or paying £45 for an xbox game, only to clock it in three hours…but this is one of those rare exceptions…I finished this book so quickly, that it was a testament to the zeal and enjoyment I had tearing through these pages…loving each story, each character and situation…I was tearing through it like a vegetarian ripping into a Bacon sandwich after years on the Vegetarian life…I actually became the shitty cliché seen on most book covers - ‘so good I couldn’t put it down!’. I fell in love with this book, and have passed it round to friends, who have loved it as much as me, and also read it in one sitting…a good sign!

But what the hell is it?

Well to put it in basic terms – it’s a collection of 15 short stories, about growing up, unrequited love and disappointment. These tales are written in a style that is like having these stories told to you by a great friend, after having a few beers in a pub, and like all the best pub conversations or jokes, you only need the briefest lines of info to get you hooked.

Acid Wash jeans, Surfing, Fish & Chips, Cat Power, Booze, Parties, tree house fumblings, switchblade stabbings, the word ‘Douche’, grey days at a beach, bullying, lesbian tendancies, shitty mattresses, heart attacks, unrequited love, the feeling that the best of life has passed you by…if these words or situations sound familiar or interesting to you, then get this book. If you want to read stories that are honest, funny, sad, raw, addictive, carefree - then get this book. If you want to read a book so true and lifelike, that you scratch your head in disbelief that these are apparently fiction, then get this book. If you want to read a book to fall in love with, then get this book.

Serps gone done it again

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