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Milk, Sulphate, and Alby Starvation

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Milk, Sulphate, and Alby Starvation Cover

ISBN13: 9781593762278
ISBN10: 1593762275
Condition:
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"Alby Starvation, the titular character of Martin Millar's debut novel (originally published in 1987), is a speed dealer in Brixton who likes reggae and comic books. Sadly, but to the benefit of the reader, his physical and mental state are deteriorating at a rapid pace. He has no job. It appears as if he's dying, with a face "that looks a hundred years old." On top of all this, it seems that the Milk Marketing Board has put out a contract on his life. Starvation believes his one chance at survival is to sell his comics so that he can buy a gun to defend himself." Gerry Donaghy, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Theres a megalomaniac professor digging a hole outside his flat. His small stake in the amphetamine market in Brixton is being threatened by a mysterious Chinese man. And the Milk Marketing Board has taken out a contract on his life. Welcome to the bizarre, obsessive world of Alby Starvation.

Albys doctor refuses to believe hes allergic to just about everything (which he is), especially milk. But when Alby soon discovers that his ongoing ailments are directly linked to the consumption of said product, he gives it up and is cured. Only thing is, he goes on to suggest this remedy to a number of other people suffering from milk allergies. In Millars surreal backyard, the Milk Marketing Board sees sales slump to an alltime low. So theres only one thing left to do: put out a contract on Alby Starvation. Now Alby must save both his life and his precious comic collection.

In Martin Millars surreal tale of the urban counterculture—a world full of shoplifting, deaththreats, paranoia, and video game arcades—Albys frantic struggle to avoid being shot falls somewhere between Irvine Welsh and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Review:

"A neurotic British hypochondriac is at the center of Millar's frenetic, eccentric novel, first published in the U.K. in 1987. '[R]agged' paranoid Alby Starvation barely makes ends meet in his career dealing speed in Brixton, and he's constantly suffering from intense stomach pain. When he determines the cause of his internal discomfort is a severe allergy to milk, he creates a media firestorm about how milk could be 'potentially poisonous.' Dairy sales plummet and the Milk Marketing Board takes out a contract on Alby's head. Enter lonesome hit woman June, who apparently isn't the only person gunning for Alby: a cryptic Chinese man with a hidden agenda has it in for Alby, too. Calamity ensues as Alby becomes intimate with June and begins to fear he may have contracted AIDS. The dizzying array of characters and perspectives whips Millar's madcap story into a potent blitz that runs at full throttle through the satisfying conclusion. Fans of Irvine Welsh will love Millar's singularly entertaining tale of suspicious minds." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

tallus, March 12, 2009 (view all comments by tallus)
I'm the same age as the Powell's reviewer (41 now) and read the book at a similar time. I'm also a former Brixton resident and spent a lot of my early days living in a similar milieu to the one depicted in this book.

One of the things I love about this book is that for all it's surreal nature it conjures up an instantly recognizable sense of what that world was like. Indeed it does a much better job of capturing the energy of post riot, squat filled Brixton than straight realism could ever do.

It might be a long gone era now, but it's influence continues to echo down through the years in my life, and the lives of many others. Martin Millar deserves to be hailed for capturing the spirit of a time and place and I am sure this book will be as fresh and sparkling now as it was then.
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John Eklund, January 31, 2009 (view all comments by John Eklund)
Quirky books like that are hard to capture in a review. Well done! Reminded me of another recent addition to the ever expanding milk literature (what is it with milk and the zeitgeist?): Milk and Melancholy by Kenneth Hayes, a wonderfully strange survey of milk imagery in contemporary art published by MIT Press in November. (Full disclosure- yes, I'm the MIT Press rep. Doesn't mean it's not a great book!)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781593762278
Author:
Millar, Martin
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
City and town life
Subject:
Subculture
Subject:
Counterculture - England - London
Subject:
Brixton (London, England)
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 6.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Milk, Sulphate, and Alby Starvation New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.50 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Soft Skull Press - English 9781593762278 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A neurotic British hypochondriac is at the center of Millar's frenetic, eccentric novel, first published in the U.K. in 1987. '[R]agged' paranoid Alby Starvation barely makes ends meet in his career dealing speed in Brixton, and he's constantly suffering from intense stomach pain. When he determines the cause of his internal discomfort is a severe allergy to milk, he creates a media firestorm about how milk could be 'potentially poisonous.' Dairy sales plummet and the Milk Marketing Board takes out a contract on Alby's head. Enter lonesome hit woman June, who apparently isn't the only person gunning for Alby: a cryptic Chinese man with a hidden agenda has it in for Alby, too. Calamity ensues as Alby becomes intimate with June and begins to fear he may have contracted AIDS. The dizzying array of characters and perspectives whips Millar's madcap story into a potent blitz that runs at full throttle through the satisfying conclusion. Fans of Irvine Welsh will love Millar's singularly entertaining tale of suspicious minds." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Alby Starvation, the titular character of Martin Millar's debut novel (originally published in 1987), is a speed dealer in Brixton who likes reggae and comic books. Sadly, but to the benefit of the reader, his physical and mental state are deteriorating at a rapid pace. He has no job. It appears as if he's dying, with a face "that looks a hundred years old." On top of all this, it seems that the Milk Marketing Board has put out a contract on his life. Starvation believes his one chance at survival is to sell his comics so that he can buy a gun to defend himself." (read the entire Powells.com review)
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