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Bigot Hall

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Bigot Hall is the nightmare home of a family most people would rather forget. Uncle Burst's belief that his face is made of pasta is one of the milder notions with which he regales the family. Uncle Snapper is confined to a treehouse because of the uncontrollable urges he feels once his gun is loaded. Uncle Blute drowned in the lake at the wheel of his Morris Traveller, wh ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Serif Publishing (first published July 1995)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  147 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
In some ways this reminded me of The Wasp Factory -- which I didn't like. One of my biggest complaints about that book was its unrelentingly depressing tone. This book also deals with an eccentric, isolated family, but Bigot Hall leans toward the absurd, which I found far more enjoyable.

I could (almost) see this as a Tim Burton film, and found myself wishing he'd taken the plunge and filmed it. About halfway through, though, I reached a plot point (view spoiler)
Jay Green
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book by Steve Aylett that I read and it is still one of my favourite works by any novelist. The use of language is sometimes quite startling, pulling you up abruptly and wondering why nobody else has ever had the wit to construct images and phrases in this way until now. It just exudes originality. I must have read it four or five times now, partly to revel in its brilliance and partly in an attempt to identify the key to its creativity. It will make some writers jealous but i ...more
Robert Beveridge
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Steve Aylett, Bigot Hall (Serif, 1995)

I spent the first few pages of this book alternating between offense and amusement. After a while, it hit me that I hadn't laughed out loud this many times per page at any book in quite a while, so I dropped the offense.

Imagine In God We Trust - All Others Pay Cash (the book that inspired the classic film A Christmas Story) jacked up on PCP and going on a crime spree and you have Bigot Hall, Steve Aylett's impressionist biography of hands down the most inter
Andrew Taylor
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've always enjoyed Steve Aylett. Ever since I read his short story "If Armstrong Were Interesting," which is certifiably the funniest four pages in the history of English literature, I've hunted down and devoured every book of his I can find. Most of his longer works (aside from the faux-biography Lint, itself a masterpiece) are sort of comedic beatnik-noir-cyberpunk tales of improbable criminal organizations and their various doings. Very hard to describe to someone who hasn't read them - Ayle ...more
Nov 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
A more accessible Aylett. Of course accessible is a relative term when concerning Mr. Aylett. Written in the form of a childhood memoir but not really resembling that description. Just like Aylett’s other books they aren’t really novels or stories more like bizarre emissions from his brain captured in glue and wood pulp. This also sort of resembles the Addam’s Family. If the show (or comic it is based on) was scripted by Thomas Ligotti or Bruno Shultz and then you watched it while consuming real ...more
Laurent T
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pure-genius
It is wonderfully refreshing, given the planet-sized pile of dysenteric dung that is modern fantasy (endless pixie-shit trilogies or saccharine-sweet fantasyland social commentary) that there is Bigot Hall. Nothing like it exists in the multiverse, but a few progenitors spring to mind. The Addams family for sure, but an Addams Family that is descended from an alternative, dangerously insane Wodehousian dynasty. There’s hints of Ian Banks’ first two novels (Wasp Factory and Walking on Glass), as ...more
John Kenny
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I picked up Bigot Hall by Steve Aylett not knowing what to expect and it just blew me away. It is anarchic black humour at its best, filled with witty observations and completely off the wall characters, whose volatile natures and violent dispositions I have never met the like of before. I never laughed so much at such outrageous brutality; I'm utterly ashamed of myself.

There were many things I was reminded of during my journey through this book: the quasi-dimensional eponymous Bigot Hall, which
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY! is a cliché that adorns many a mediocre book jacket. I generally find that even books that tickle me don't often actually cause me to crack a smile, so you can take it as a gold-plated recommendation when I say that Bigot Hall had me grinning like an idiot from cover to cover. I did indeed chortle, guffaw and even nose-snort on several occasions.

You'll be familiar with that eureka moment when an artist, author or musician suddenly pops up on your radar and you find yourself
Michael Norwitz
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've read a couple of other books by Aylett, but none come close in my affections to Bigot Hall, which paints a surrealistic portrait of a sort of modern, punk rock Addams Family. The book is more a series of pastiches than a novel with an overall plot, and the ending descends into a vortex (quite literally) of metafiction, but despite that his language and humor consistently delight. It even has rare moments of beauty, as the poem the unnamed protagonist write for his incestually-involved siste ...more
Chris Amies
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Actually it isn't that nightmarish. Bigot Hall is a sort of anti-Gormenghast, where it's the rest of the world that has a non-Euclidean geometry and the family of the eponymous Hall just want to mind their own business (as Steve Aylett wryly says, "this is back when that was still legal.") Impossibly cool parents and incomprehensibly annoying relatives abound. ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Bizarre chaos, both of characters and language. The book practically fizzes with wit. Recommended.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bigot Hall is the story of an unbalanced, insane, and possibly supernatural family, where our hero repeatedly dodges murder by his uncle, is madly in love with his sister, and lives to torment the guests of the house.

I read Aylett's Slaughtermatic about 5 years ago, and the style of this reminded me why I liked it. This felt less stream-of-consciousness than the other book, and reads more like a series of short stories. But the loosely held together cohesion of the shorts brings the overall book
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2009
This was absolutely excellent. I read Slaughtermatic and thought it was kind of over the top and incomprehensible way too often. But this was just smart and over the top.

It's hard to imagine exactly how he writes like this. It's like stream of consciousness (which is often boring or disjointed) but edited and cohesive. There are characters and each one stays "in character". You begin to know what to expect (even if it is the unexpected) and each is so interesting that it's hard to pick a favorit
Joey Comeau
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book appeals to my interests!

It has a really nice Addams family vibe, and the episodic nature works much better with Ayletts style for my taste. I feel like you can pic it up, read one of the short chapters, and feel satisfied. And then come back later, read another, and still feel like it is all part of the same whole. This is funny, I guess, because normally I hear "A book of linked short stories" and I immediately tune out. But in my head, linked short stories ARE a novel. It's just a d
I've never read a Steve Ayelett book I didn't love but Bigot Hall is one of my absolute favourites. I also suspect it's one of his most accessible, a good introduction to the Ayelett style. Every page snaps crackles and pops with language. The ideas have stayed with me and I only wish the book had been longer. I can't praise Bigot Hall enough. Just dont be put off by the lame blurb on the back cover. Steve Ayelett books tend to be mis-sold as zany when really they're so much more. ...more
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
After about a third of the way through everything got rather 'samey' and somewhat predictable. I finished it but that's because I'm a finisher unless it's a really really crappy book - like 'My booky wook' by Russell Brand. Now that is utter egotistical contrived dross. ...more
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May 25, 2012
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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.


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