[The Syllabus of Errors Books ] Free Read as Epub BY Ashley Stokes

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The Syllabus of Errors is a story seuence a mixture of contemporary and historical episodes A cast of loners and romantics explore how our anxious present is mirrored in the uncertainties of the inter war period with its crashes and crises Ultimately it conveys a coded warning from history about what can come to fill. fascinating and impressive collection by a bloke I met once at a party many years ago and who now edits the very good Unthology series As the introduction says an introduction To a debut collection these ring with mitteleuropean references they are set in Rome Paris Berlin as well as present day UK they reference the Weimar Republic German art George Grosz etc they happen now in the near future or in the 30s when soldiers are uelling riots and dead bodies litter the streets Fascism is discussed studied one protagonist studying Hitler Studies has to hide his books in an organichippy restaurant or imminent In a book full of mordant humour the writeror maybe narrators saves his most withering sarcasm for the assorted lefties he meets and their political correctness or general appearance He had a bushy white beard and hair like a dandelion clock The mother s skirt reminded Ludo of a picnic blanket There s a feeling that pc attitudes tend to distort history and thus leave us unprepared for the future eg in the excellent I Remember Nothing where a boy hears an alternative history of the rise of Hitler by a WW2 refugee and possible Nazi he meets to the one taught by his teacher Priskin who followed rigidly the school textbook interpretation of Hitler as the pawn of big business and the military There s a similar disdain for the consumerist and often violent young evident in the brilliant names the various protagonists use for those around them Shoutybollocks Buzz uarterpounder SpecialneedsbiNot that the heroes of these books are much effective the stories often revolve around the single bloke just been rejected by or trying to connect with his love object a woman that usually turns out to be not worth it They are drunks or failures in various ways trumped by the fatuous Besides fascism and inanity there s also much emphasis on screenfilm one story is a screenplay where the majority of the story is in Nabokovian footnotes about the leading lady s betrayal another centres on a buffed up for a part leading man s existential angst as he deserts his girlfriend and gets beaten by a street gang Violence or rage is everywhere actual implied Troops or mobs The stories are also funny in their ranting and sharp enough to cut The Syllabus of Errors may well be Roth Joseph meets Bolano as the introduction claims I haven t read either although have always intended to it s certainly a fine set of stories which twists and thumps at you warning with its rage and elouence of a drift to fascism or at least to stupidity

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The Syllabus of Errors

Mar Berlin a faceless soldier wanders through a war torn city looking for his lost love an artist high on modernism gets caught up in a political assassination in Fascist Italy Personally they dream of capturing that unfulfilled promise that missed perfect kiss that unresolved moment that thing that should have lived. The Syllabus of Errors is a collection of very intelligently written short stories The details in the stories were so intricate and thought provoking that I often found myself revisiting past pages just to re digest interesting parts of the storyThis collection dramatically flings an optimist like myself straight back down to earth and lives up to the title of a Syllabus of Errors Without ruining any parts of the stories I found it to be a series of melancholy tales in which I found myself captivated by the complex characters and intricate details of the story I found myself pondering the characters long after I had put the book down and yearning for an extra chapter just so I can find out a little bit Two stories to look out for in particular are Marmara which actually made me shout out loud in despair and the Post leading Man which has an interesting twist I am conscious of spoiling the stories so I am deliberately being vague but this is a book that demands your full attention Make the time to sit and immerse yourself in this collection to get the full benefit of the beauty of these tales The story plots aren t overly dramatic and draw you in ever so subtly that you don t even know you have been hooked until you reach the endOverall a very good collection of addictive cleverly written stories which I was unable to put down the plots are interesting and the characters are likable and for this very reason Ashley Stokes and his Syllabus of Errors owe me one night of lost sleep

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The void when universally accepted notions of democracy and liberal capitalism are being uestioned as nowThe restless and rootless characters dream of idealized cities or moments in the personal or historical past which they feel could offer their escape Historically Sally Bowles and Fritz Lang's M join hands in Wei. I have seen people comment on how this seuence of stories needed to be savoured and considered and that s definitely true There are layers within each of these stories and connections that create a fascinating latticework of ideas theme time and character My favourite moments in the collection were those that most clearly explored the intimacies of relationships The first two stories were perfect for that Island Gardens starts in London though flits to Moscow and briefly to Spain This movement in memory thought or place is echoed in the techniue Storming the Bastille contains similar movement Greg and Nikki are a young couple who have been dating for two years though have yet to have sex Only in the Hotel de Crillon she says At one point when Greg has been held up I won t ruin it and they have gone back to the Hotel Vivienne definitely not the Hotel de Crillon you think they might finally make love for the first time Except the narrator skids away commenting from a place and experience years ahead Six years later in a hotel room in the Marais Greg will pace and fret the room reminds him of her this night the two years The movement allows us to reflect on this moment which we return to now weighted down with future knowledge older and unable to see this moment with the excitement and promise as the two of them might It s not deflating either it doesn t strip the story of its purpose which you might think it could The sensitivity and skill of the writer needs to be acknowledged here and the way this story ends is all the beautiful for it Not forgetting Stokes trademark humour that I enjoyed in his debut novel Touching the Starfish The contrast between Grant in Island Gardens and the Reverse English he fatefully meets is hilarious You well bate blood Pardon You done now blood I s banking The Syllabus of Errors is a fascinating collection of discussions on the ephemeral nature of life The transience and impermanence of love which can be as we see from one of the characters Ludo who dwells on a past love utterly enduring The physical movement the almost dizzying layers of place together with the temporal movement echoes for me the reality of us All the hopes and disappointments We re the sum of every obsession loss and getting in a state that we experience Occasionally I felt a little dense to appreciate all the complexities of the Syllabus but that s something to do with my C awareness as opposed to the A writing that was clich wasn t it That s as maybe but this collection certainly isn t and contains stories to read and return to and which somehow will change and expand and alter just as you doYou can follow Ashley on Twitter AshleyJStokesThe Syllabus of Errors


10 thoughts on “The Syllabus of Errors

  1. says:

    fascinating and impressive collection by a bloke I met once at a party many years ago and who now edits the very good Unthology series As the introduction says an introduction To a debut collection these ring with 'mitteleuropean' references they are set in Rome Paris Berlin as well as present day UK they refere

  2. says:

    I've had this collection a while I finished it sometime ago and yet despite that distance between reading and reviewing I've found that the characters and stories continue to live with meAshley Stokes has managed to compress engaging lives into the confines of the short story and in doing so has created a very powerful collection of talesThese stories are shot through with history the dark grain of old photographs the brutality o

  3. says:

    I am so glad I read this book of stories Stunningly stylish writing Memorable characters and settings Brilliant wit and a kind of fearlessness The title story was one of the funniest I've ever read The opening story was utterly gripping in its intensity it left me breathless Each story has its delights and its surprises T

  4. says:

    I have seen people comment on how this seuence of stories needed to be savoured and considered and that’s definitely true There are layers within each of these stories and connections that create a fascinating latticework of ideas theme time and character My favourite moments in the collection were those that most clearly explored the intimacies of relationships The first two stories were perfect for that Island Gardens starts i

  5. says:

    From the first few pages you know you're being well guided through these connected worlds Some of these are juicey peaches Others are suashed bananas The title story and I remember nothing are perfectly formed and have stayed with me A short film about a short film is a film script which is overcome by its copious footno

  6. says:

    I’m a greedy reader If I’m enjoying a novel short story or memoir I’ve a tendency to devour but there are works that demand to be savoured to be read slowly carefully given serious thought They’re so rich that gobbling is rendered nigh on impossible Ashley Stokes’s short story seuence The Syllabus of Errors is one such bookDavid Rose’s splendid introduction prepares the reader for an erudite and considered collection

  7. says:

    The Syllabus of Errors is a collection of very intelligently written short stories The details in the stories were so intricate and thought provoking that I often found myself revisiting past pages just to re digest interesting parts of the storyThis collection dramatically flings an optimist like myself straight back down to earth and lives up to the title of a ‘Syllabus of Errors’ Without ruining any parts of the

  8. says:

    According to the blurb The Syllabus of Errors features ‘a cast of loners and romantics trapped in the upheavals of the period between the world wars’ and ‘tries to convey to us a warning of what may come to fill our current void’ In this it succeeds Idiomatically too it is bold apercus jostle with loaded apercus historical erudition i

  9. says:

    Andre van Loon A common narrative in the stories is that of the young man waiting to meet the girl he is interested in only for her not to turn

  10. says:

    We selected this title for our dozen strong book club under an initiative to cover short stories Only two of us stayed the course and those of us who did unceremoniously concluded that it carries numerous plot holes and is really uite well dull Not one I can recommend I'm afraid