by John Fraser


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


'S' is a novel about what makes a person a person - and a 'good' person or 'bad' one - and poses the question: What do we become when we live in cities and improvise for ourselves something for us to do with our lives?

Gary, abandoned at birth, seeks his city, the city of 'S'. Once found, it should give direction - an origin, perhaps a destiny. Gary is a joker, a refuser - a music agent who can't stand noise. He seeks clues regarding his origins - camels? Sex? Friendship? He goes to rehab. Maybe punishment brings meaningful reflection and some purging, purity? He's sent to the Dark City - where life is precarious: there's smuggling; crime in the pool hall... He's dependent on Fancy, his crone landlady, but plague and rioting force him out.

Gary's first venture has been mythic, religious. The second is history - the city is divided into nationalities, exile quarters - each with a project: the Russians aim to copy the great bell of Kiev, but Gary's own efforts end in violence and defeat. He finds a post as gatekeeper, deciding who enters and who's excluded from the city - but his partner takes a less philosophical type, Puma, and he is set to wandering along the road, looking for the source of purity, the city of his birth which he now believes did not exist, or exists no longer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910301470
Publisher: Aesop Publications
Publication date: 04/01/2018
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

John Fraser is a novelist and poet. He has lived in Rome since 1980. Previously, he worked in England and Canada.

For more information on John Fraser, please visit www.johnfraserfiction.com or email info@aesopbooks.com.

The distinguished poet, novelist, Whitbread Award winner and Booker Prize nominee John Fuller has written of Fraser's fiction:

"One of the most extraordinary publishing events of the past few years has been the rapid, indeed insistent, appearance of the novels of John Fraser. There are few parallels in literary history to this almost simultaneous and largely belated appearance of a mature œuvre, sprung like Athena from Zeus's forehead; and the novels in themselves are extraordinary. I can think of nothing much like them in fiction. Fraser maintains a masterfully ironic distance from the extreme conditions in which his characters find themselves. There are strikingly beautiful descriptions, veiled allusions to rooted traditions, unlikely events half-glimpsed, abrupted narratives, surreal but somehow apposite social customs. Fraser's work is conceived on a heroic scale in terms both of its ideas and its situational metaphors. If he were to be filmed, it would need the combined talents of a Bunuel, a Gilliam, a Cameron. Like Thomas Pynchon, whom in some ways he resembles, Fraser is a deep and serious fantasist, wildly inventive. The reader rides as on a switchback or luge of impetuous attention, with effects flashing by at virtuoso speeds. The characters seem to be unwitting agents of chaos, however much wise reflection the author bestows upon them. They move with shrugging self-assurance through circumstances as richly-detailed and as without reliable compass-points as a Chinese scroll."

Of Fraser's Animal Tales, Fuller wrote:

"It convinces me that he is the most original novelist of our time. His work has become an internal dialogue of intuitions and counter-intuitions that just happens to take the form of conversations between his inscrutable characters. But really it is a rich texture of poetic perceptions, frequently reaching for the aphoristic, but rooted in sidelong debate and weird analogies."

The full text of John Fuller's article on Fraser is at www.johnfuller-poet.com/johnfraser.htm.

Table of Contents

1 ‘S’

2 Rehab

3 Dark City

4 Modern and Everything

5 La Face des Etoiles

6 The Gatekeeper

7 Puma

8 Raoul

9 Amber

Customer Reviews