4 out of 5 stars
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Marcus Preece is said to be one of the most interesting writers you’ve never heard of. They were right too, I have never heard of him until this landed on my doorstep. This is likely to be the only book that he has to his name too as he sadly passed away in 2017 at the age of 54.
Thankfully his friend, Malu Halasa sifted through his draft notes and incomplete projects for dozens of stories, screenplays and comic strips along with essays, journalism, poetry and random pieces that didn’t quite fit in anywhere else. And amongst that mass of material, there were some gems. Thankfully Halasa is an editor and she knew what she could make from his work. Even though Preece is the author of this book, this is her work in compiling it into a cohesive entity.
As I find with any collection there are some things that I like more than others. There were a couple of screenplays that didn’t really work for me but I did have some particular favourites from this book. I thought that the poems here were excellent, it is such a shame there were so few of them. His music journalism too was really good, he manages in so few words to really convey the vibe of the bands and the venue. Swiftnick and The Legend of the Lonesome Cowboy were really good too. The final part of the book is another screenplay, Everybody’s Happy Nowadays. To begin with, I wasn’t sure, but then it reached a point where everything slotted into place and I really ended up liking it.
As it is so diverse, not only in its styles but also in the material that he covers, there is something for everyone in here. They even made space for friends to pay their own tributes to him. If you want a challenging and often entertaining read then give this a go.