- File Size: 399 KB
- Print Length: 210 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Big Bean Books (April 30, 2017)
- Publication Date: April 30, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06Y55K1R3
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,175,107 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
snail Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
impressed to see a book made of episodic fragments, i bought it, read it, and oohed it.
snail changed my outlook on words. previous to this, i often kept a thesaurus handy. eric dando taught me, through his book, that a thesaurus is a remarkably arrogant and childish thing which should definitely not be used when writing good prose. he uses a simple prose style which is deceptive in that such simple words conveyed such complex issues, emotions, and scenes. i was totally changed after reading this book, and consider it to be the one which changed my outlook on how i write. everyone finds a book like that, but not all of us have one which is criminally out of print and so hard to find.
mister dando has since written another book, oink oink oink, and it's a remarkable book of its own and one i will no doubt discuss later, but for me, snail was a lightswitch going on in my head with a snap and a vigor i can't begin to describe. he gave his prose a gentle, and riverlike style which is punchy, and sharp as much as it is loose and fluid. streamlined, maybe, is the word i'm looking for. it's softly surreal and dreamlike in many ways - a quality i have enjoyed in the more complicated writing of haruki murakami.
the episodic nature of snail was perfect. it's hard to believe it's just another australian roomies story. we have so many of them, including the moe popular birmingham novels, but for me, snail is the epitome. it's the one which really should have defined this little genre. the characters within possessed the right level of lunacy and the quirky nature of the prose really functioned well despite it being considered a little unconventional. at the time, i was writing my first creepy and hatboy novel with my friend and sparring partner, andrew "hatboy" hindle (the book was supposed to be a collaborative effort, but my version raged out of control. his version - i'm still unsure if it's complete, but it tells the same story from hatboy's perspective, and thus turns creepy into the bumbling fool rather than the other way round), and we were using the fragment process as a way of flipping a coin from perspective to prspective of our major characters, so when i saw how easy it would be to just sew the episodes into a single book, i was most impressed. even more so, because dando's book inspired me to streamline my prose and thus create something a little more focussed than i think it would have been without it.
his method also allows a sense of poetry to filter into the book, so subtle that you're often unaware that each perfectly constructed fragment is also a piece of poetry in its own right. the tempo of the words, the perfect beat of the sentence - all hold you breathless until the end.
the humour of the work is simply the most amazing element of the whole thing. dando's easy humour is something i think many writers would be jealous of. there's no sense at any time during the novel that he's pushing the envelope, or trying hard to please. he just lets it flow out in an organic way which keeps you amused and even makes you laugh out loud. it is, in my opinion, second only to the hitch hiker's guide the galaxy as the world's most consitently funniest novel i've ever read. the contrast, then, with the serious elements of the book is made more powerful when delivered in this simplistic, dry amusement style. it's as close to perfect as i can imagine.
i have had to lend my book a few times and i wish i could buy this book for many more of my friends (i have ceased to loan it as i am too afraid of not getting it back), and i would encourage you all to do a good crawl through secondhand bookshops in order to find this one. it's so well worth having.
i'd like to quote the very first fragment of the book, if i may, just to show you what i'm talking about. the whole novel, in a way, is summed by this intriguing opener, and when i first opened the book, it's what i read first and was the reason i bought it.
weevils get into the sugar. once you have weevils in the sugar there is no escape. they spread through the weetbix to the flour and then you are truly done for; they will not rest until they have infected your life, eaten your soul.
have you seen alien? that thing that comes out of their stomach? that was from weevils in the sugar. kennedy was shot by a weevil.
This book is not written for teenagers or young adults. From memory, most of the main characters and the protagonist are in their early or mid twenties, however keep in mind I last read the book nine years ago. For this bit of writing to make such a lasting impression on a person who has only read it once is a truly great thing. I recall that it was certainly the most humorous novel I've ever had the luck to read.
Although I can't remember the details, or any of the characters names, the novel is based around a central young male and the ups and downs of his life, including what can happen when you're bored and have a HB pencil at the ready in Daylesford. Be prepared for a wicked assault of comedy, detailed in the most human way - one which every person can relate to. There are Wiccan girlfriend issues, bonghead housemates, and trams! The characters seemed to come to life, and if you're either Australian or familiar with the pop-culture, then this book is definitely one you can't afford to miss.
Sadly, the book is quite unknown even for a local author. But do yourself a favor, track down a copy and enjoy a brilliantly funny quick read. You won't regret it. And when you're finished, ship it on over to me =)