And who can blame you, with such an amazing -- if we do say so ourselves -- line up, and at such a good price...


£40 for all 5 books? (RRP £64.95). Are we crazy?! Possibly.


Imagine this lot lining up on your shelf -- they'd look pretty smashing, we can tell you. 



From the extraordinary mind of debut writer Ben Pester comes a book of stories in which the everyday – work, parents, friends – is not quite what it should be. Taken together, it forms a collection of things we are doing right now, in this lost and terrifying world we are gamely attempting to inhabit. Things like worshipping an imaginary being while trying to be productive; or slowly dying and having nothing to say about it except how tiring it was building the kitchen extension; or having hot martinis with the ambassador in a hotel that ought not to be there. Unsettling, original and occasionally monstrous, these are stories that light the contours of the ordinary world with a shimmering unreality. "A funny, sad, sharp and beautifully disarming collection of stories: a place where the world of the quotidian with its train commutes, work lanyards and office emails, becomes dreamlike, absorbing and wonderfully strange." – Wendy Erskine, author of Sweet Hom


    ANIMALIA PARADOXA by Henrietta Rose-Innes

    A virus inflames a woman with mortal desire; a colonial naturalist seeks an impossible specimen; invisible violence stalks a safari and a man out walking enters into a strange shadow dance with a prizefighter. Ranging from taut human drama to phantasmagoria, these stories make rich and strange connections – between ancient and new, human and animal, Africa and Europe, reality and dream. Taken together, in prose of great precision and beauty, the stories in Animalia Paradoxa map the complexities of the human specimen, in all its troubling glory. This is fiction of the highest quality, from one of South Africa’s foremost novelists. "Henrietta Rose-Innes writes an admirably taut clean prose... A welcome addition to the new South African literature." – J. M. Coetzee


    SISSY by Ben Borek

    SISSY is an hilarious, eipc romp, encompassing in its burlesque scope our modern crisis of masculinity, the banality of City work, our retreat into virtual lives and the alienating effects of modern technology, with lots of variegated sexing in-between. Sissy is an anti-hero and antidote to Don Juans. He is a modern masculine counterweight and sad manifestation of the internet-induced fright of the real: a thirty-something wimp by day – literally and surreally re-born of his long-suffering mother each morning – and a would-be-gangsta by virtual night. The novel’s brilliant overall set piece is a virtuosic attack on the notion of the male Romantic Hero and it is written, appropriately, in a language that is rich and flamboyant; enjoyably, hilariously, baroque, while at the same time an extraordinary reclamation of the narrative epic form for the woker ‘now’. "SISSY is a funny, exquisite, appalling, unprecedented, masterpiece."  Toby Litt


    THE LARGE DOOR by Jonathan Gibbs

    When Jenny Thursley, a 40-year old linguistics lecturer, returns to Europe for a conference in Amsterdam, she finds herself pitched back into the presence of a life she had fled. There, she re-encounters a once-inspirational mentor, finds a former lover again within reach, and is surprised by the flickerings of a new longing. Over little more than twenty-four hours Jenny must write a keynote conference speech, face up to her own mortality, and to the consequences of the bad choices she has made – while finding the nerve to make new choices that might be no better. Witty, sexy and provocative, The Large Door is a meditation on life and living, and on ages – golden and otherwise – that recalls the sparkling mid-century work of writers such as Iris Murdoch and Brigid Brophy. "An absorbing and deeply satisfying book. It captures what it's like to feel adrift, confused, and panicked at a hinge moment in life; it also evokes the pain and melancholy that can accompany desire. All this in prose that is brisk, gleaming, and precise. Utterly compelling." 

    – Katherine Angel, author of Unmastered, A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell


    THIS PARADISE by Ruby Cowling

    A family prepares for Assessment; an au pair in the Caribbean wrestles with duty as a hurricane makes landfall; a game designer aches with bodily longing. Amidst it all, twins, heroines, mothers and rebels play out their lives under the strange grips of technology, governments, corporations and the capricious planet on which we all, in our different ways, just about manage to live. THIS PARADISE is a rare and beautiful collection of stories about people fleeing towards places or times or situations they hope might be better – trying to outrun their nature, to deny the undeniable. Written with an arresting eye for detail, a rich sense of compassion and a darkly comic understanding of the human psyche, the stories in this volume propose a series of haphazard questions, not least of which is: where do we run to when there’s nowhere left to run? "No other writer of short fiction has such a firm finger on the unsteady pulse of the suppurating British body politic." – Joanna Walsh, author of Words From The World's End.

    Full Five Fiction