There is never going to be a good time to say this, and so it might as well be now.
Attrib. by Eley Williams is the most original short fiction
collection by a British writer I have ever read.
The recurring theme in Attrib. is narrators who have to
filter their view of reality through some kind of cognitive thing. For this reason, if no other, I felt
immediately empathetic to the narrators in the stories.
There are 17 stories.
I have finished reading 13 of them.
The reason I am writing this review, now, is in case I get run over by a
bus, or something. I am mostly full of
regard for buses, and suchlike, but you never know. Anyway, I want you to know about it, before
something bad might happen. Call it an
insurance policy, if you like. You don’t
have to call it, that. I am just saying.
I want it to be understood that there is nothing wrong with the
14th story, which is the one I am reading, now. As to the fact that I have not finished it
yet: I don’t want you to go getting any ideas.
I read the collection while I am on my way to work, or my way home from work. On the way to work, I have to look up when
the bus does that turn round the bit just after The Redoubt, because if I don’t
look up, then, I might miss my stop, even though it is a while before my stop. I read ‘This Sporting Life’ like that and it
seemed to work. I am finishing Attrib.
quite quickly, when you think about it.
Sometimes I have to read it on the train to Leeds when everybody in the aisle
is standing up and I have to send a message of complaint to the train company
but I want to keep reading.
I am not going to tell you what happens in any of the
stories, because then you might just read what I had put and not read the
Some of the stories are strange, and that is a big deal
coming from me. But most of them are
both strange, and satisfying.
If you only like boring stories, told by boring people, don’t
buy this book.
If you like stories which make you want to know what happens
next, then buy this book.
If you like stories told from the point of view of a white man in a Pringle sweater, don’t buy this book. If you like stories told from a new point of view, then buy this book.
I borrowed it from the library, because I am poor. But I commend it to you, Those Who Command The Riches Of The Earth.