Malingerer – Thomas Phillips


I have just received my purchased copy of
MALINGERER by Thomas Phillips
Zagava MMXIV

My previous review of a Thomas Phillips book from Zagava / Ex Occidente Press here:


9 thoughts on “Malingerer – Thomas Phillips

  1. Malingerer (Is That You, Alyssa?)
    “…disentangling a multitude of strands in an effort to co-create the meaning of a text.”
    …with that quote from this first story, I can think of no better way to describe the process I feel within myself when gestalt real-time reviewing books! And this is one helluva optimum text upon which to do so. I have not rechecked my previous review of this author’s work (linked above) but this story echoes the noises (sometimes irritating, sometimes akin to the type of atonal music I naively love – I have, counterintuitively, I guess, not yet listened to the CD embedded in the front cover of this book) between neighbouring flats. Here a slack army deserter, I infer, re-establishing himself ‘under the radar’ in Paris. He is subject to what I can only call paranoiac literary Tuckerisation – living above a flat where is living a woman from a coven as self-help group, echoing some of the Satanic aspects of the earlier book, I again infer…She brings him cookies and the sudden out of syntax ‘muffins’, or is that this story’s one self-proclaimed ‘misprint’? Or was that a beep beep beep in my head when I enter this woman’s head or when she becomes tenant of my own head by textual co-creation?
    The story flows beautifully and you may enjoy it on different terms than what you may consider as my pretentious terms above? That’s the beauty of it. Meanwhile, the book’s plush cover feels more like hide than anything else, the hide of Satan? Only in tinnital fiction can horror be real.

  2. Mille Plateaux
    “I myself hear the music as an invitation to peer into the mechanics of those interior landscapes that so often evade everyday awareness,…”
    Even though I have not stalked an interracial dating couple as they walk in the park, there is so much else in this relatively short story to which I can personally relate, I don’t know where to begin. Charles Ives music, a concord mass or unanswered question or universe symphony loud within headphones, allowing my neighbours to sleep and not hear what music I allow to deafen out my inner skull (as I did last night with the CD of, I guess, Thomas Phillips music, embedded in this book), neighbours as people whom, through life, we subsume or need – or both. For good or evil, black or white irrespectively.
    “No. I do not enjoy revisiting childhood.” And, so this story, as well as being the optimum read in itself, also acts serendipitously as a contrasting complement with another story I read and reviewed (here) this very morning, its wiggly lines of synaesthesia forming another universe symphony…competing sounds gradually approaching from either side of stereo stars amid otherwise unbroken cloudless blacknesses of night sky?

  3. The Evil Thereof
    He continued to feel it up, opened it, read the words on a page and continued reading. He swiveled his hips, adjusted his position, read, siphoned the words. He looked disapprovingly at letters and symbols, bleeding into one another, began to lose himself in the text over minutes, time swirling, numbers, tick tock, he began to feel seduced, druggy. He remained standing. The man couldn’t stop reading. Until he looked up from the hideous tome in a rapid, head-jutting motion with the full crane of his neck making the quick pivot, thinking he heard something other than the words spilling into his head.”

    I hope the author and publisher will forgive me quoting a sizeable excerpt from this relatively short work as it seems to emblemise my gestalt real-time reviewing and seems to be a life-changing morality tale in that respect, whether I dreamcatch the Holy Bible or something far unholier … The transcription is the test.

  4. Withdraw
    I read straight through this compellingly deadpan reportage about a man working in the lab cutting substances, being watched by another man, travelling to the coast to stay with his woman, but delayed on the way in his car by a double creature or two creatures copulating as they walked, his eventual arrival at his destination, a mysterious large message in the sand, woman goes missing, comes back with a mallet to crush ice, the rest of the text I’ll leave spoiling on the table…as well as the bits I’ve left out or forgotten… Cutting words. Crushing words.
    The story ‘Bugtown’ I happened to read and review here an hour or so ago was about substances used to kill bugs as well as to act as drugs and about my withdrawing to become an outsider to the words. I hear my wife moving about upstairs.

  5. Drilling Ground
    “Mother presses in, everywhere around her, and the daughter is spellbound.”
    From one ‘Withdraw’ to another with a tooth extraction – and the woman thus extracted communes with a deceased mother… And we learn even of the dentist’s viewpoint when withdrawing her tooth from its socket, just like I carefully prise the CD from its central gum or spindle in the book’s front cover. And I think, too, of removing the offensive term embedded in this story, that of “inoffensive classical music”

  6. Hideous Gnosis
    “…the music begins, poŵer-drilling and upending.”
    The two men staring at each other in ‘Withdraw’ : a static photograph come to life, leading to a secret hidden word in Heavy Metal music – the academic and sexual grappling of the protagonist’s textual gig. This story incredibly seems to be a satisfyingly stylised architecture of studied prose as well as a mosh pit of a ‘drilling ground’. The sleekly combed cover of this book made ‘human’ at last, tooth pulled from its endless groove… Hideous gnosis, hideous noise.
    “The sound of neighbors was barely audible.”

  7. Halloween
    “It takes time and patience, and resources, to distinguish a true Grimoire from the countless fakes,…”
    And this clinching prose poem convinces me. Malingerer put the migraine or megrim in grimoire.

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