A selection of stories, this has "A to Z" (a novella) at its heart, in which a detective has to return unexpectedly to London. Once there, he has to learn to read the city anew in the light of arcane allusions planted by an apparently murderous sect.
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Following his Bless the Thief and Silent Conversations, Alan Wall's intriguingly titled Richard Dadd in Bedlam & Other Stories is an assortment of 15 tales which give a twist to a number of thoroughly modern themes. Combining serial murder with ancient sacrifice, "A to Z" --the novella which opens the collection--sets the tone of these stories: a strong narrative persona, a playful sense of the Zeitgeist ("Frank, can you key in Millennium Bulletin and find out if there's anyone of ours can tell me about it?") and a keen awareness of genre. Many of the fictions included here are self- consciously erudite ("That Frenchman they all drone on about-- what's his name?-- Derrida," muses the eponymous poet in "An Old Man in Florence"), using the short story as a device to play with a range of contemporary ideas in philosophy, aesthetics, science fiction and popular culture. So much so that conceit ("I read Freud on 'The Uncanny', and found his obsession with demonology and possession something insufficiently remarked upon," comments Thomas Treeley, memorable narrator of "Cult") sometimes threatens to overwhelm, rather than support, this collection, and its unusual challenge to the limits of the language world of the short story. -- Vicky Lebeau
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Book Description Vintage, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Very Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. Though second-hand, the book is still in very good shape. Minimal signs of usage may include very minor creasing on the cover or on the spine. Bookseller Inventory # CHL1539821
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002918302
Book Description Vintage, 2000. Book Condition: Good. New Ed. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP86877923