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Tim Etchells Endland

Endland is the latest release from Sheffield-based publisher And Other Stories. Tim Etchells is better known as the artistic director of internationally-renowned performance group Forced Entertainment, but this is not his first book, nor his first visit to Endland.

The book consists of a number of short stories set in Endland, a broken reflection of England. It's at once amusing and bleak, claustrophobic and expansive, evoking a mythical place of gods, addicts, folktales, misfits and social collapse.

Each twisted parable confronts the excesses and toxic ideology of modern Britain. Etchells uses a number of written devices that help firmly site this book in a different world and it's this distance that sharpens our vision. We are on the outside, looking in.

Despite many moments of humour, including a twelve-page list of members of a Hells Angels biker gang, Endland did not leave me feeling reeling with optimism. Perhaps it's not the book we need, but the book we deserve.

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