This was taken directly from Amazon.co.uk and was written by someone called Alphaprocess. Needless to say I’m very happy indeed that not only I got a good review, but so did everyone else:
As Stewart Hotston says in his Foreword to this book, we have a strange relationship with food. Whether it’s the British ‘fairground’ style of eating as Jonathan Meades puts it (i.e. walk around munching rather than sitting to table with the family), or the self-imposed hedges some put around their eating (as witness the fondness for gluten-freeness) this rarely relates to having enough to eat and more not knowing where to put ourselves.
Chip Shop Horrors presents not so much a series of tales of fast food restaurants – though some are – as about our uneasy relationship with what we put in our mouths.
Ian Whates’ “Whatsa Mata?” dives straight into food politics with a what-if question: what if food can just be presented on the table, ping, without needing to go outside for it? What happens? How does the power dynamic shift and who wins and loses? Read on and find out what happens to our hapless inventor.
Matthew Sylvester’s “Oi, oi! Saveloy!” follows up his story in the earlier KWP anthology “Potatoes” with the further adventures of his foul-mouthed, brutal but basically on-the-right-side enforcer, this time up against food coming from an unusual source. Good fight scenes as well as you’d expect given the author’s skill and familiarity with martial arts and blade weapons.
Chris Amies’ “Maria Laxara” – the story of one who believes his home town has turned into a joyless monoculture but a chance encounter in a diner suggests he is quite wrong.
“The Best Tasting Fish and Chips in the Country” by Greg Smith is an effective little horror story.
“Discomfort Food” by Phil Sloman is the story of Rebecca who finds herself caught up in the madness of the fast food industry, where never mind the food it’s the people who are ground down. You never get the finest ingredients in places like this …
“Family Secret” by EJ Davies concerns Eric and how he held on to his job. Expect the secrets to be dark.
Paul Gleed’s “Dinner and Discontent” set in the Winter of Discontent just before the 1979 elections (and one of few stories ever to mention James Callaghan, the Forgotten Prime Minister I think you could say). It’s nostalgic and effective, and yes there is a boy works down the chip shop … etc.
David Thomas Moore’s “Shut-In” is a highly claustrophobic portrayal of just that. Pizza delivery rather than take-aways (but I did say not every story here is about chip shops). A sense of disorientation and nightmare prevails throughout.
Shane Porteous’ “Salt Insult” reinstates a lighter mood to the proceedings after the previous story. Nicely OTT and with a trick in the tail. I don’t think many people have written about the current trend for niche and extremely odd restaurants e.g. cereal restaurants and this isn’t it, but it’s close.
Stewart Hotston’s “Fit for Work” changes the focus to the people involved in the industry – the pointlessness of looking for work when there isn’t any, or none that makes any sense, and the adventures of young Radley who doesn’t really fit into this world of sanctions and employment advisors.
In all a tasty volume.