"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Unfortunates by B.S. Johnson

A gift "book in a box" by one of Britain's greatest modern writers.

One of the lost classics of the 1960s, and a legendary experiment in form, The Unfortunates is B. S. Johnson's famous "book in a box," in which the chapters are presented unbound, to be read in any order the reader chooses. It is one of the key works of a novelist now undergoing an enormous revival of interest.

A sportswriter, sent to a small town on a weekly assignment, finds himself confronted by ghosts from the past when he disembarks at the train station. Memories of one of his best, most trusted friends, a tragically young victim of cancer, begin to flood through his mind as he attempts to go about the routine business of reporting a soccer match.

The Unfortunates is a book of passionate honesty and dark, courageous humor: a meditation on death and a celebration of friendship which also offers a remarkably frank self-portrait of its author.

B.S. (Bryan Stanley) Johnson (1933-1973) was an English experimental novelist, poet, critic and filmmaker.

1 comment:

Tosh said...

This book looks like a total winner to me. In London I found another collection of his writings and want to buy it - but damn that luggage problem. Books are a pain when you are on a trip or moving around. But everyone who is reading this blog - this little notice - you should buy "The Unfortunates." I have it, and will read it when I get home. For one, it's beautifully designed and one thing I share (among many) with Charles is a love for the book design. And this weird little volume is a beauty.