PUBLISHED June 2021
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The Sick List
"The Sick List is about menace, about a menace (Gordon), and is written in the voice of a menace. It reads like one of the pen-portraits of surreal ultra-violence in Bernhard's Gargoyles, where education turns out to be the most deceitful panacea of all."
-- Katharine Craik
In this novel, an unnamed academic in an unnamed contemporary university, relates his obsession with his tutor, Gordon. He pores over the increasingly bizarre mis-readings in Gordon’s annotations in a strange selection of stolen library books. Is Gordon unraveling a mystery? Or is his own mind unraveling? Meanwhile, an epidemic of catatonia breaks out; academics are found slumped and unconscious at their desks. Is reading itself the cause of this sickness? Is the only escape to return to illiteracy?
Witty, moving, and beautifully written, The Sick List plays with the dividing line between deploring and exemplifying what it most despises. Inspired by the work of the Austrian novelist Thomas Bernhard, it considers how the minds of educated people are moulded by both the breadth of literary culture and the narrowness of academic institutions.
"The Sick List operates on the far side of literature."
-- John Schad
Beyond Criticism Editions is the upcoming reincarnation of the Beyond Criticism book series, originally published by Bloomsbury and now part of Boiler House Press' own experiments with the radical new forms that literary criticism might take in the 21st century.
The series is launching across June 2021 with a set of four books, including further new works by Steve Hanson and Robert Crawford, as well as a new edition of the brilliant but until now out-of-print "Macbeth, Macbeth" by Ewan Fernie and Simon Palfrey...
Catch up with the wonderfully entertaining online launch for The Sick List, with an introduction from the author and creative responses in the form of a short film, poetry, and live mix music... 45 mins well spent, we say...