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Don't Read This Book If You're Stupid: Stories Paperback – November 3, 2001


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Paperback, November 3, 2001
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (November 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312278527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312278526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,308,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Using black humor, outrageous plot lines and showstopping descriptive pyrotechnics, Tibor Fischer writes about big issues....Along the lines of a Vonnegut or Pynchon, he twists language and narrative technique to get under the skin of his readers."--Los Angeles Times

"Sly and full of thirtysomething angst. Although stepping into Fischer's world may be a dark and cynical thrill, a thrill it is."--Booklist

About the Author

Tibor Fischer was born in Stockport, England, in 1959. The author of three novels, Under the Frog (a Booker Prize finalist), The Thought Gang, and The Collector Collector, he was included among Granta's Best Young British Novelists. I Like Being Killed is his first collection of stories. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David J. Gannon on March 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Tibor Fischer is the adroit master of the biting edge of black comedy. In Don't Read This Book if You're Stupid he puts that talent to prodigious good use. These 7 stories about life in London told form the perspective of various social misfits and outright losers are biting, hip, edgy and hilarious.
Fischer has always been a master of character development-he's even rendered a 5000 year old bowl a convincing main character in The Collector Collector-and that skill is on full display in these stories, even though a couple of them are very short. The characters may be fully developed-are fully developed--but are also quite loathsome on the whole.
The result is a book that is funny, insightful-and a bit put offing. These are stories about people on the margins of society-losers, whiners, and predators. I appreciated the skill and talent on display in every story-I actually liked only a couple of them.
Fair warning should be made: The book has moments of genuine raunchiness-both just general icky raunchiness and a fair amount of sexual raunchiness. Nothing particularly egregious, but in sufficient volume and sufficient intensity to warrant those who have a problem with that sort of thing to think twice before diving in.
The short story is obviously a form Fischer can excel in. I hope one day he'll write a series of stories more in line with the tenor of his novels. That, I suspect, would be a book I could both appreciate and like as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "ivyplus" on March 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book delivers wickedly hilarious entertainment, which I enjoy. The subjects of the stories (corrupt and egoistic artists, comediennes, businessmen...) are snapshots of modern culture that duly receive spiteful treatment by the author. Which I enjoy.
The highlights of this collection are "We Ate the Chef," which explores a Web salesman's frustrations while he takes a French vacation; "Portrait of the Artist as a Foaming Deathmonger," which tells the story of a narcissistic, failed painter who invents a manipulative "art form" he aptly names the "grabby"; and "I Like Being Killed," which probes a female comedian's greedy love life and acrimonious behavior, on- and-off-stage. The three share the theme of egoism.
"Ice Tonight in the Hearts of Young Visitors" introduces young journalists at the site of a revolution; "Then They Say You're Drunk" is about a stand-in for a solicitor with a cruelty towards street people; "Bookcruncher" is an entertaining story about a devout, dispossessed reader who attempts to read every written book; and "Fifty Uselessnesses" is about a poor fellow whose love for the wild West constitutes his only excitement in the face of his emasculating "proper job."
Other than self-absorption, dampening jobs and materialism are at least lightly touched upon.
My only gripe is with a part of the writing style. Tibor Fischer examines his characters' minds by showing their ratiocination in his sentences. I prefer reading terse, stark sentences; Fischer, on the other hand, will layer "althoughs" on "althoughs" and it gets somewhat tedious to read. It's like straining to eke out the benefits of a first-person narrative into third-person. Others like it, though.
That said, this is a great collection of mordant fun that I would recommend to anyone who appreciates some dark humor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
the first story in this collection is so true to a certain type of life, and yet so hilarious. the language is is casual and deft, like a expert twist of the knife, sliding right into your heart. and then he makes you laugh. the following stories are somewhat more abstract, but the laugh factor is even higher. recommended for those who like their reading with a light touch of acid.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
But that was way back in 2000 when I was 22, and an out of work web designer in London. I hunted this book down for years, but couldnt quite remember the title.. and now I am less impressed. It seemed really dark and droll. Maybe I was more goth in my recent youth..
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