Literature ® is the fiction debut of Guillermo Stitch.
We don’t know exactly when Literature ® takes place and we don’t know exactly where. All we know is that Philip Marlowe would fit right in.
We don’t get Marlowe though. We get Billy Stringer. And Billy is on nobody’s trail.
He’s the prey.
The day hasn’t begun very well for Billy. He just messed up his first big assignment, he’s definitely going to be late for work, his girlfriend won’t get back to him and, for reasons she has something to do with, he’s dressed like a clown.
Also, he’s pretty sure someone is going to kill him today. But then, that’s an occupational hazard, when you’re a terrorist.
He’s a bookworm too, which wouldn’t be a problem–or particularly interesting–except that in Billy’s world, fiction is banned. Reading it is what makes him an outlaw.
Why? Because people need to get to work.
It’s fight or flight time for Billy and he’s made his choice. But he has to see Jane, even if it’s for the last time–to explain it all to her, before she finds out what he has become. That means staying alive for a little while.
And the odds are against him.
(Nineveh Editions, July 2018)
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Having read rave reviews about Literature ® my expectations were high. This slim but idea-rich literary offering has been described as a masterpiece.
While undoubtedly high on originality and compelling pace, for me the execution did not consistently meet ambition (or perhaps more accurately, its potential was not fully realised). But first to this novella’s enviable merits.
Stitch’s prose, inventive without being showy, was a delight to read,
His smile, once again, seemed to trespass on that face.
and he explores and extrapolates from issues already near and dear to his readership.
The bookstores were gone…. The authorities had been only too happy to help the process along with restrictive regulation and prohibitive tax–locked into online espionage and up to their necks in encryption algorithms, they were even more unnerved by the idea of something you could bury in a hole in your back yard. Everybody liked hard copy but nobody wanted trouble – almost nobody, anyway – and one by one, the stores had gone bust.
I am loath to reveal too many spoilers, the incredibly subtle presentation of clever detailed elements of the dystopian future, being a large part of Literature ®‘s charm. But that slow paced world-building, in contrast to the break-neck thriller chase scenes, was also a weakness. More than I would have liked remained unanswered in respect to ‘the how’.
Readers engage with Billy’s plight, his emotional plotline well-developed, but the dystopian reality often remained ambiguous, albeit cerebral and thought-provoking.
Those weaknesses aside, I commend Guillermo Stitch’s Literature ® — an intelligent, captivating read.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5
Get your copy of Literature ® from:
Genre: Literature, Science Fiction-Fantasy, Thriller, Drama, Action
This review counts towards my participation in the 2018 New Release Challenge.
About the Author, Guillermo Stitch
Other reviews of Literature ®
* My receiving a copy from the author for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions in the review above.