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The Inflatable Volunteer

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  84 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Welcome to Eddie's world, where grave fillers throng the pavements, where ants are plotting to slash and burn us before we do it to them, and where it doesn't pay to have too many dealings with John Satan. .
Paperback, 232 pages
Published 2000 by Phoenix
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Stephen Thomas
Apr 11, 2013 Stephen Thomas rated it liked it

This book will have a different meaning (or lack thereof) for each and every reader. With an absence of either a conventional plot or narrative structure, it might prove too anarchic for some, but it is worth sticking with for several reasons. One is the humour. At times this book is hilarious simply because of the surreal juxtaposition of words and of ideas. I wasn’t always sure whether this hilarity was intentional or not, though I think for the most part Aylett wants us
Jan 02, 2009 Adam rated it really liked it
Aylett at his most unhinged. Usually peppers his books with scifi, fantasy, or noir elements and lots of satire so you pretend you understand what is happening. Here it’s a bubbling stew of mind mutilating anti-rational psychedelic rant after psychedelic rant. Probably better in small does, so keep by your bedside if you want this creepy babbling echoing in your head while you attempt to get some peace. Iain Sinclair’s blurb (a writer, fans of Aylett should search out and vice versa) is right on ...more
Ken Bazley
Aug 31, 2007 Ken Bazley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: not those of a nervous disposition
This is by far and away the most insane piece of literature I've ever laid my hands on. Nothing, but nothing comes close insofar as headspin goes - honestly if it's pure mania you're after then look no further.
Firstly there's the dizzying vernacular and once you've grown accustomed to that you can have a go at figuring out the plot, and good luck with that by the way. It took me 4 attempts to even vaguely work out what the plot was and I'm still not sure. Guess I'll have to give it another go -
Adam Eivy
This book is a sinister brain-screw. It's one of those that I'm still not sure if I loved it or hated it. The onion-like layering was a nice effect but the text seems more like a stream of made-up idioms being hurled fervently from character to character--much like the 3-stooges on crack, standing on a street corner, pestering you with their nonsense while you wait for the bus to hell.

But I think I'll re-read it soon to see if the text shifts the second time around.
Donald Armfield
Jul 24, 2014 Donald Armfield rated it it was amazing
Steve Aylett opens your skull and bashes your brain with a potatoe masher, he has this way of writting that makes you want to read more.

I have no idea the plot of this book, maybe something about an election, but I will say you will laugh and wonder on every page.
Adam Eivy
Mar 29, 2009 Adam Eivy rated it liked it
This is one of those books that I'm not sure if I loved or hated. The onion-like layering was brilliant but the overall chaos of seemingly random bar-room babble threw me for a loop. This book probably screwed me up more than Finnegan's Wake.
Dec 19, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
A zip gun loaded with the macabre, lyrical, psychedelic keys that unlock your head and stash something truly original in your gray goo. Aylett is a true original and also kind of funny.
May 11, 2013 Stevie rated it really liked it
Not a book for everyone but if you'd like surrel aphoristic rollercoaster ride with stuff you'd written and want to quote forever then this is for you ...
Leon RE
Apr 13, 2013 Leon RE rated it it was ok
Shelves: prose
A bit funny for its quirky lyricism, but for the life of me I could not understand what the heck was going on.
Duncan Falconer
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Mar 31, 2016
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Dyllan Mathurin marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2016
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Jan 11, 2016
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Jan 03, 2016
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Jul 30, 2015
Alex F.
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Jul 06, 2015
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Jul 05, 2015
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Thrown With Great Force rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2014
Taylor marked it as to-read
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Oct 13, 2014
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Steve Aylett (b. 1967) is a satirical science fiction and slipstream author of several bizarro books. He is renowned for his colorful satire attacking the manipulations of authority, and for having reams of amusing epigrams and non-sequiturs only tangentially related to what little plot the books possess.

Aylett left school at age 17 and worked in a book warehouse, and later in law publishing.

More about Steve Aylett...

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“Nothing like a spider in the mouth to get you thinking.
“The clerk tripped on the carpet, hit a window and went through, carrying with him a vase which had been on the sill. His skull broke like the vase and the vase broke like his skull, and both burst forth water mainly, and from the vase some flowers. If I could choose a death I’d make it something like that, except I’d add a good woman and some lard.” 4 likes
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