Overview

Unique and highly erotic, Cannibals is a novel of eighty-eight bulletins that reveal the fractured essence of our age. Characters wallow in bad jokes and bad sex, and trade happiness and pain as we enter their lives and then abruptly leave again, seemingly at random.

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Cannibals

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Overview

Unique and highly erotic, Cannibals is a novel of eighty-eight bulletins that reveal the fractured essence of our age. Characters wallow in bad jokes and bad sex, and trade happiness and pain as we enter their lives and then abruptly leave again, seemingly at random.

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Editorial Reviews

Independent
A distinctive talent.
Esquire
A revelation… unlike any other book you can think of… Compelling.
Guardian
A highly inventive and gifted writer… all contemporary Western life is here.
Publishers Weekly
The stateside debut of British novelist Collins is a collection of 88 micro-vignettes told in the voices of various hipsters, glamour girls and sexual adventurers, most of whom have nothing to do with one another. Individually, these wee pieces hold few surprises in terms of plotting and barely have a chance to get off the ground. Together, they form an intense but unfocused portrait of urban anomie in the United States and England. A chapter called "Goosebumps" opens with a nameless, gender-dysphoric character having an erotic interlude with a man named Cameron; the next chapter, one of the strongest, is about a man who viciously hangs his own dog for the crime of mating with an inferior breed. Many of the pieces sketch decadent young jet-set types who discuss vomiting onto other people's shoes, modeling gigs, designer labels and how bored they are with love and life. Jilted lovers obsess, junkies rationalize, mothers express disappointment. Sometimes these scenarios unfold in a few sentences, then it's on to the next mini-drama. The longest of the pieces are often poignant and well-turned, as in "Li," in which a woman shares a galvanizing one-night stand with a jockey. But there are far too many six-line chapters that, while edgy, are simply too brief and vague to make an impression. Collins is a talented artist; one wishes he worked on a larger canvas. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
First novel by Irish writer Collins, of West Cork.

Novel? More like a verbal sketchpad of talented charcoal portraits in fast, minimalist banter that catch victims of sexual cannibalization at their most exposed. It often sounds like Mike Leigh's actors improvising dialogue before it gets nailed down for his films. Here are perhaps eighty brief pieces of life, most of them touching on sex and adultery, some just touching on turns of speech, with people rattling off their sex problems, most at the kitchen-sink level of rapping. The majority are set in England, some in the States. Among the longer is the title piece, in which David, a cabinet minister, seems at first to be getting serviced orally by Lorraine, a girl who works for David and wants to marry him and have babies, while David wants only immediate gratification and so spins endless justifications around Lorraine, who finds that what David really wants is to have his toes sucked, not his peepee. Do all these pieces add up to a minor Dubliners? Well, they might never have been written had Joyce not developed the vignette to a fare-thee-well in Ulysses. Perhaps it's too early to say what these do add up to. Here is the complete "Nora": "I don't think he quite appreciates how it is but just because we're at it like a pair of demented bunnies doesn't mean we're a couple." One wants to praise Collins for a fine ear at these improvisations, and it may be that younger readers-and writers-will take them with the seriousness they may deserve. When Collins does write a full-dress novel with the same verve he shows here, this sketchpad will grow in stature.

Unbearable burdens made no less unbearable.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781446413296
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/15/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • File size: 168 KB

Meet the Author

Dan Collins is the author of the novel, How It Ends. He lives and writes in County Cork, Ireland.

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