Fiction & Biography

MICHAEL CHABON (ED) McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales

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Classic novels revisited. This issue: lreas‘ure island

When you hear the phrase ‘literary journal'. you might think of largely impenetrable organs (magazines calling themselves ‘supplements‘ or ‘reviews of books') which do their best at choking the life out of literature by analysing texts, over- analysing subtexts and being really flashy about hypertexts. So. what in the name of hellfire does the highly un-analytical. possibly just stupid. McSweeney’s think it is claiming to be a literary journal?

The brainchild of Dave Eggers is a quarterly publication and website (“created by nervous people in relative obscurity') which is named after a mysterious correspondent to the Eggers family home who claimed to be the matriarch‘s long-lost brother; this kind of oddball family malfunctioning was heavily apparent in Eggers‘ debut. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

Many have regarded Eggers and those he gathers around him (obscure authors and household names seeking credibility) to be the finest shifters of American irony since the lucid days of Heller. Vonnegut and Pynchon. Other critics have dubbed the editorial team as behaving like ‘inbred boy scouts‘. The three-year-

Published 1170 \earrs ago.

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old McSweeney’s publishes everything from news “(fill “OW Saw”: lllflilwlllrv- WHO releases about stolen tools from small towns in 0R/6/Ml‘3mmqum lilldlllfiliii S'W- “‘0 'l‘llsllélllIO'iY- Wisconsin to correspondence domestic “()tllld lx’fl “if: lfiliillii. UlllekllOVlll terrorism. Much of it is hawtruth and conjecture. ,’ "(K “can”. "sum. I y to OH! heroes. the shit) has been but a" of it is simply there to entertain. unwemns' AND m. inliltratorl if; pirates. led by its; one And this is the reason behind the Mammoth B ' ‘(flllllfll (300k. W'Kl JON” 55W” Treasury of Thrilling Tales. While the UK-based ll" What the critics said / (ll/l0! New Puritans sought to reinvent the way you Rollicking stories about VCRs, Pls and circus elephants Brown creator (3K Chesterton knock up a story (based on a set of ten rules and praised Stex'eiitxiri's nonel, not regulations including vague notions such as “blowing a disgruntled PI and his troublesome wife) and Elmore fhlllHI‘, as a SWHESlll)ll(Il\llllg the dinosaurs out of the water' and mad ideas about Leonard (with ‘How Carlos Webster Changed His Name £1<l‘.’(:"illll(3. but ‘the realisation of an rejecting poetic licence and adhering to grammatical to Carl and Became a Famous Oklahoma Lawman’) and irlrzal, that \NllKlll If} proiiiiserl iii its; purity), the McSweeney’s crew just want to give you the not so established but with better names (Chris [)l()‘.‘()(:élll‘."(3 anrl beckoning lllaj)’. rollicking barnstormers which are, against every Offutt, Sherman Alexie and Carol Emshwiller). Key moment the most "wrung instinct of the age, a triumph of style and content. If you forced me to take my pick of the bunch. I’d 3mm, comm when Jim imjmg .n This UK debut of McSweeney’s is volume ten of the have to plump for the tale by the magnificent Glen an apple iwmi on me (jock or the quarterly and has Michael Chabon in the guest editor's David Gold (whose first novel Carter Beats the Devil is ngpafljola. ()Vorhearf; the chair; apparently Eggers allowed him to take on this almost the template of “rollicking barnstormer’). It (join/cranium mar (cg/(gals; Silver to project so that Chabon would leave him in peace. The would be cruel to give too much away about ‘The Tears no the pirates ruthless leader. 20 tales, interspersed with clever-clever ads and teaser of Squonk, and What Happened Thereafter‘, except to postscrim 55”}.VQHSOH'S hook wag.) drawings to introduce the stories, are told by the say that it’s about an ill-fated circus elephant and will [mm when the mm“. (“sawch established likes of Nick Hornby (about a VCR which make you cry. And what more could you possibly want m; 1? war Om stepson Lloyd can fast-forward through time), Michael Crichton (about from a thrilling tale? (Brian Donaldson) (WWW an Nam map Wm,“ the faintly was staying at Braernar, 5“ I“ “K H “A; 3 q YUM “MW” “HIM, I, My V“ I M WSW" . I D A . h : Stevenson could notiosist joining Mir Hirik. \i'mll'll‘i‘ai)!‘ ‘it; Hit“ nu". ’\{/l;',f-?".i: it. 'i" ' M naming mu Slim“ bfccnmif). Ricky [W m “mum” m U)“ H P “If .111” H W (I P L H '- beginning work on Treasme Island 1 1'Ii' "Law‘s-r r" .' :lili 0... , I" l, W _ . H ' f. 7, , ' ,,. that very day tin txtli‘T' r:_;sl.ll;:".ltw' H." l‘f‘<"':_« <ll 'i.."‘l our" ' '* "::' swasmmcmmg Stones. RLS In}; mm ‘15; RM 1 I“. Hm _ r g: 1 a: I \ CiaSSSIC has been filmed on several . , . \ x ' . ' j or;(;a8ioris. Perhaps most I notion (Azure .l".:l Jaw." ‘. ,"' .i' -,~' 6“ !(;(Jr(:ttak)lylu1990mm“mumsmf it'll(iil‘.(-l":~Hillel}? A'RI'." s‘ra‘J.’ .l'\!,‘ 23'.“ .‘ 2 :l' mm that (H a f). m. I ' P H " iiiarle-lor lV calamity which , I . 1‘ I, ,l g h , .r, , _ H H shiveretl nohorlys timbers ' Charlton Heston does his finest mm” HAW“ Wm: (“mm “Du/fun, “Hit, V (a If H ‘ah-haaar Jiiii lad despite being SW Jgruhgzk'f‘k‘ Shun” mm): ' d I if 1 acted off the screen by Oliver H”. . ,1 . N L. I, ' A. . 1 ‘3‘ I! 1 I H I . H Reed, Christopher Lee and Richard L H H V Ni: ' H ' < \loh :sOn. And his parrot. mm in. i. r l .'t_ n in“... j , , First line test some Trelawney. ,. r 1 l ,, , J’N‘fi _ I Dr l_l‘;l'3$€,“,’. anrl the rest of these ) , ,‘._ v v , , 1 ..... A , . I gentlemen having asked me to Y K , in ‘1 . , \h , . , I r write down the whole particulars l tl rum". E r ' «r ' _.—. , . . , about Treasure Island, from the {5, V,‘ I.“ s. Q ,. A.) I , , , I: M , beginning to the end. keeping M , ‘1 , , . A H ,_ . , l, , . H nothing back but the hearings of “Mg (i z , 1 ' ' I r the island . . .’ A“ g.“ ‘. g, I , g _ x . _ lAllan Radcliffel Britain's most principled TV celeb out". mil l"‘t;.i'l:-' pr».- . ' i

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