6 thoughts on “Taking Care Of Frank – Antony Mann


    “It’s a pet theory of mine that people in the public eye are imbued with a residue of the abnormally great amount of attention that is paid them, a concentration of a kind of psychic energy if you like.”

    A hilariously absurdist TAKE on the special high key and low key involutions in the average nature of unaverage fame and celebrity, plus the nature of hitmen — this particular hitman called Bendick — and the involutions of their hiring and firing, and the latest wife of a celebrity vis à vis her next hairdo whatever the do about her, and the indelibility of future signatures as an auto-graphic concertina of events. A TAKE with a lot of latent wisdom, some of it still waiting to return to my now shockingly empty brain. Frankly, more a taking care of whoever dares reads this soon to be famous fiction than of anyone else, I guess!


    “You know what the problem is? The modern world. Everything is fragmented. The media, people’s lives. There are too many choices. It’s impossible to get traction for an unfashionable cause when everyone has such a short attention span.”

    “Evil walks while good men slumber.”

    “They’d blow up the Opera House for backfill if there was a buck in it.”

    A scheme to launch a new movement revealing scandalous work practices.
    Leading to a suspenseful virtual fiction reality as we literally need to become the narrator. The only way to tell his story, breaking through the most tenuous and vertiginous attention span of them all, as it turns out.

  3. MILO & I

    “There was a pile of old magazines in a cardboard box in the corner. He emptied them out, got in the box, then emptied himself out.”

    That seems obliquely to sum up the whole solution to the murder in this story and whodunnit. Think about it.
    An incredible scenario of investigating detective as narrator and his sidekick – extrapolating on some of the more off-beat scenarios in GK Chesterton’s Father Brown Stories (my exhaustive reviews here.)
    If you can guess the nature of the narrator’s sidekick, you would spoil the surprise for yourself. Rest assured this story is a real unmissable classic of detection, and the characters who do it.


    Imagine chess ratings, and if you are a frenetically budding grand master, you need exponentiality of them, the ends by means of building hate towards a love of checkmate, the hate for the King, a Freudian transfer to your father or perhaps to the person whose cut flowers become a spasm of metaphor. A telling tale that if I told you more about it would spoil its next move in this whole game of fiction personification. Or my next move, instead. Each review a patronising variation on counter-creativeness by taking care not of Frank but of the author whose work is being reviewed…

  5. Esther Gordon Framlingham

    When I mentioned Father Brown above, I had no idea this story was following about the author of the Father Rufus stories! And these stories’ eponymous author who is tantamount to ghost-written alive. And the rather ruthless world of crime fiction, where one-offs are secondary to seasoned recurring empathisable detectives who can be killed off or resurrected with much publicity. The space between truth and fiction a space for real crimes…?

  6. Billy, Cutter and the Cadillac

    “Is it manual or automatic?”

    When the penny dropped, I laughed out loud. Automatic, yes, automatic. That’s the obvious thing. A pub talk story worthy of a David Mathew – and more! A larger than life bet between two drinkers. A cigar tin of baubles. A fob watch. And an inherited Cadillac. A week’s weight watch. All then down to the the name being Cutter and the pub being called the Carpenters. Pick up thy invisible futon and walk. That’s the way to do it. All now taken care of.

    These are crisp Mann stories. One-offs making the perfect recurring spirit of sleuth or tease, a spirit simultaneously killed and resurrected in one fell swoop of wit and absurdist singularity.


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