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Only an Alligator (Accomplice) Paperback – June 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Accomplice (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857989619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857989618
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,704,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Accomplice is the Wonderland of a sick Alice—a bizarre, self–contained city threaded by creep channels, where the surreal and the nightmarish are everyday—a realm of casual, accepted insanity. Accomplice: the literary equivalent of digging a hole, doing a headstand in it, and claiming you’re wearing the world as a hat…

About the Author

Steve Aylett is 36. He lives and works in Brighton. If he were any more English he'd be dead.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ClownSon on October 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished this last night so I'm still a little dizzy. Only An Alligator is similar to Aylett's Beerlight books and other works in the same way a safety pin is similar to a cannonball. Both are quite capable of puncturing the skin given the proper circumstances.

You will find the same odd linguistic gymnastic constructions, bizarre characters, unlikely and impossible plots, sub-plots, and sub-sub-plots. Aylett has full command of some of the strangest metaphors, similes, and general descriptors you will find anywhere in modern literature. (Is this literature? It is too artsy for pop culture so it must be so!) But Accomplice, the city/dimensional setting of Only An Alligator and presumably the other Accomplice books, is by far more surreal than even the strangest dark etheric alley corner of Beerlight. Floor lobsters, demons, wild cheetah pets, the pig servant/round one, a book about dogs, 800 eels, a political battle, and a savage kick in the family jewels are just a few of the threads woven into this odd little book.

If you are a fan of Aylett's other work, you will probably enjoy this as well. If you are new to Aylett, and are looking into dabbling into the weird proto-meta-fiction he creates, you should probably start with one of his more accessible works (i.e. Atom or The Crime Studio). Once you are familiar with Aylett's unconventional style, I'd invite you come back and swim in the deep end with Accomplice; but if you dive into this one unprepared you will probably drown before the end of the second chapter.
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Format: Paperback
Aylett is the Mozart of science fiction: he descends from somewhere bearing complex, beautiful work that defies convention as strongly as it follows conventional forms and he uses his language--words, in Aylett's case--with deft humor that hides how carefully-placed each piece is.

And some will look at it and declare there are "too many notes." Let them.

Only an Alligator is the first of the Accomplice novels: four stories set in the strange, mythical city Accomplice, cut off from the rest of the world by unknown catastrophes and devolving itself into some sort of clockwork parody of degeneration.

Our hero is Barney Juno, a kind and gentle soul who's sole goal is to care for the "winged and stepping creatures of the earth," which puts him completely at odds with everyone else in town. His friends include the town's most downtrodden, eccentric, and publicly artistic miscreants, but what else could he get with 500 eels in his front yard?

Okay... now we head off the main road a little and visit Aylett-land....

The action for the book--actually, the action for the whole series--is set up by Barney stepping into a creepchannel, a sort of nerve running through the earth and used by demons and some humans to travel. While he's there he rescues an alligator.

Yes, an alligator trapped in a demonic nerve through the earth. You're following just fine.

The alligator was left there by the demon Sweeney, who lives below Accomplice, in Hell. Sweeney had been basting the alligator for dinner that night and vows revenge on Juno.

And thus we have the setup: Sweeney and his demons become frustrated by Juno's simple innocence and how hard he is to destroy or subvert, even in a venal and corrupt town like Accomplice.
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