Thursday, August 14, 2008


Mister Gum

I have just completed a new novel entitled Mr Gum. It's my most depraved and salacious work, a book that both satirises and feeds the tropes of our pop culture. I am very happy with it. The oddness of the concepts, the trickiness of the plot and subplots, the wordgames and recursive linkages serve mainly to carry the relentless filth. Self-glorification is very much a secondary concern in the development of the story: my ego plays second fiddle to the obscenity. Or perhaps second oboe. That's very unusual for me.

The book disgusts even me. I find that notion charmingly warped. The 'Afterword' to the novel is neither a true afterword nor a story but something halfway between. I have posted it (minus footnotes) on my Postmodern Mariner blog here. It says pretty much everything about the thematic and stylistic excesses of Mr Gum, the reasons I had to write the book and my general thoughts on modern puerility. It is a passive-aggressive apologia, saturated with bad faith and yet completely honest.

I promised Adele I would publish Mr Gum under a pseudonym (if ever it gets published) to spare her the embarrasment of being associated with it even at a distance. Whether a potential publisher will agree to this notion remains to be seen. It is easy to make promises one can't keep. Conversely it's even easier to keep promises one hasn't made. Adele is sweet and bright; my novel is sour and dark, but curiously light-hearted in its grotesqueries. Here follows a complete contents list. Astute readers will notice that the first part has already been published as a separate novella in the first issue of the magazine Polluto.

Part One: The Creative Writing Tutor
· Oh, Whistle While You Work, and I’ll Come to You, My Dwarf
· Boo to a Goose
· Whaling Well
· The Tenant of Arcimboldo Hall
· Canon Alberic’s Photo-Album

Part Two: Up a Gumtree
· The Groin Scratcher
· Plop Fiction

Part Three: Spermicidal Maniacs
· Where the Sun Doesn’t Shine
· Cop Hospital
· Plums and Oriels

Part Four: Gum, Set and Match
· The Glue of the Scream
· Afterword

I'm foaming at the mouth . . .
Sounds interesting addition to the Rhys Hughes canon.
Cop Hospital! I'm standing proud.
Ah yes! The real Stuart Ross (Mr Frictionless) is the originator of the 'Cop Hospital' concept. In the story itself this is explained. Mr Ross also briefly appears in the 'Plums and Oriels' story, which is a tale about prog rock!
I have appeared in your dirty dirty book as well! You encorge me with your generosity.
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