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The 5 Simple Machines

by Todd McEwen

Five short stories based round the idea that sexual activity can be related to the action of five different machines or tools. The writing style changes with the stories. 'Screw' is a long monologue with no paragraphs and little punctuation which very well illustrates the slight air of desperation of the characters. A demanding read which is certainly different. Give it a try - it's entertaining, controlled and not at all wearisome.

Extract

And take television, why is it not a salve and a benefit to conjugal love, why when you were seventeen could you imagine anything better than to lie in you socks with you natural mate on a large sofa all evening? But now all you feel is that the fucking tube has put the screws on you, put the kibosh on you all evening - you both come away from it frightened for your income and your appearance and your nation- ... and the more the television puts this pressure on you to be together in its own particular way, with its own gaze, the emptier life seems and you end up smoking and drinking like someone who was born in Glasgow for god's sake and at the end of every day here are only dirty dishes and resentment.

Parallels

Ten Stories about Smoking by Stuart Evers
 

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