Endland by Tim Etchells
Combining two of Tim Etchells' previous works, Endland is a savage and comical read
Endland is a merciless parade through a world molded by the violent looming of Brexit Britain, Google's all-seeing Big Brother eye and the political bloodshed of Thatcher's rule. Brutality and dark comedy is the beating heart of these stories; stories that are like acid trip fables gone oh so wrong.
Etchells is a master of language, viciously marrying online slang with the once-upon-a-time that every reader is familiar with. His clarity of meaning strikes the reader hard, with a barbarity and reality that stuns like the shock of diving headlong into frozen waters. It’s a pleasure and a revelation: it forces the reader to re-examine what language is capable of.
The book brings together two sets of the author’s works. His collection called Endland Stories: or Bad Lives, published in 1999, is compiled alongside stories he’s written post 2000. Some short story collections fall victim to simply too many stories, and unfortunately Endland may fall among these. Though consistently innovative and bursting with humour, the first half feels a lot like the second, and perhaps the two works should have remained just that: two separate entities.
This is a distraughtly passionate kaleidoscope of a book, as soul-searching as it is a lacerated mannequin of a man. Pick it up though; it’s a savage and comical read, best enjoyed in stages.
And Other Stories, out now, £11.99