Live! is a collection of stories written for live reading, performed at open mic venues over the course of 2015. It's a mix of a few styles, some of the pieces are experimental, and the subjects range from fantasy to auto-fiction. There are a few swear words.
I would like to admit upfront that I know the person who wrote this book – but I had a difficult decision to make between including a book of poetry (Cecilia Llompart? Edwin Morgan? Who to choose?) or another novel. I’ve gone the third way and picked this collection of comic semi-fictional, occasionally all-too-real essays that are short enough to have been read onstage and yet somehow stay in your imagination a lot longer than you would like them to, a bit like the taste of old fish that you thought seemed fine before you put it in your mouth. I can say with an honest heart that I love reading (and hearing) these – I just wouldn’t have had the chance to know about them if I hadn’t been going to the same open mics as René Ghosh for the past year. These short pieces, with titles such as ‘Self Eulogy’ are witty, sad and biting. Often they are about going to work – which is incidentally where I used to bump into René, on the commuter train. There’s often a twist in the tale. Maybe Jesus doesn’t want the drawing a pretty girl at a bar did for him. Maybe your co-workers will call you out on your theft of stationery after you die tragically. Maybe we’ll find out how the author lost a piece of his hand. Or maybe we can just distract ourselves from the numbing sameness of daily existence with this wonderful little black book. It’s pocket-sized. Take it on your commute.